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" \ 

* Search where thou wilt, and let thy reason go 
To ransom Truth, even to the abyss below." 


"^f^^^Ry OF THE 


Entered according to Act of Congress, in the yea^ x868, by 


In the Clerk's Office of the Dtstriet Court for the District of Massachusetts. 



To THE Rev. W. M. : — 

lyyrY dear Friend, — More than twenty years 
ago, we ventured to cross the border of what 
Ennemoser calls the great ill-famed land of the 
marvellous." Certain manifestations arrested our 
notice. Repelled and, for a long time, baffled by 
what seemed merely grotesque or trivial, we did not 
abandon inquiry. Our interest in the proscribed 
phenomena has not yet abated. We have lived to 
see the smile of derision with which the spiritual 
hypothesis that accompanied them was at first 
saluted, grow fainter and fainter, until it now rarely 
appears on the lips of well-informed persons y.- and 
the question is put seriously, even by doctors of 
divinity and veterans of science, "What do these 
things mean?" 

I cannot presume to answer dogmatically; but 
having kept trace of the so-called spiritual move- 
ment that began at Hydesville in 1847, and having, 
long before that period, investigated the kindred 
phemomena of somnambulism, independent and 
mesmeric, I have hoped to offer such a survey of 




the facts and theories as would be acceptable to 
earnest and uncommitted seekers after truth, always 
excepting those who, like Mr. Herbert Spencer, 
decline, " on d priori grounds," to look into the sub- 
ject. Recently, attention has been directed to it 
anew by the wooden trifle known as the Planchette ; 
and I have chosen the name of this mysterious toy 
as the tide of my book, rather as a convenient sign- 
post, pointing to one little phase of the complex 
whole, than as indicating fully the character of the 
facts here collected ; for these are, I am persuaded, 
of supreme importance, embracing, as they do, in 
their relations, most of the authentic marvels in the 
pneumatology of ancient and modern times. 

Without undervaluing the tributary services of 
Planchette in certain rare cases, I cannot doubt that 
its eccentricities are often explicable by unconscious 
nervous movement or by wanton deception. But, 
after making allowance for all that is unprofitable, 
trifling, and tedious in the experiments, — for all that 
ought to be deducted as giving no conclusive evi- 
dence of supersensual knowledge or power, — there 
is a remainder of well-attested results, which cannot 
be explained by any theory of imposture, halluci- 
nation, or unexplored nervous action ; and these re- 
sults belong to the class here considered. 

I regret that the circumstances under which the 
present work was written did not permit me to shape 



it in nearer accordance with my own notions of com- 
pleteness and of the far-reaching significance of the 
developments ; but this earth-life is so brief and un- 
certain, that to have deferred my task, in order to 
accomplish more, might have been to accomplish 
nothing ; and when one has something to say, he 
may leave it for ever unspoken if he is over-nice in 
his choice of modes of presentation. May I not tell 
the public that to your pen, my friend, they may 
look for something more in keeping with the ampli- 
tude of the theme ; something of which T may ven- 
ture to announce, — 

" *Tis not the hasty product of a day, 
But the well-ripened fruit of sage delay ? " 

In treating of the anti-supernaturalism of the 
age, you remark, — 

" Every now and then comes forth some one who says aloud, 
after this manner : * I know it, and tilso every man living knows, 
by his own eyes and ears, that there has nothing ever been 
known of the spiritual world, not a word from it even, hot a 
miracle. . . . That anybody knows, or ever has known, more 
about it than anybody else, is nonsense. I am myself the stand- 
ard by which you may measure Abraham, the patriarch ; and as 
to his visions, they were merely dreams, such as I have myself. 
I am the measure of the man Paul. And, you may believe me, 
as to voice or light from heaven ever having come to him at the 
time of his conversion, that it was not so. Simply, at that time, 
he had an attack of vertigo, such as we all know something 
about. Oh, this glorious clearing of the mind, by which now, 
in my view, there is nothing higher anywhere than the level of 
my own experience I Oh; what a comfort it is to have miracles 



shrink into common earthly things, and to know that nobody has 
ever seen them, any more than I have 1 ' This would seem to be 
odd comfort ; but there are persons whose needs it would seem 
to meet." 

You anticipate that the child bom this year will 
see in his generation our men of science become 
reverent believers in the supernatural of the Scrip- 
tures. In the facts I here present, you will find 
some reasons for this opinion; but you will also 
learn that there are persons who admit the phe- 
nomena, but denounce Spiritualism as a " nervous 
epidemic, based on a gigantic assumption, and 
propping an ancient superstition," namely, that of 
individual spirits ! So, you see, there will be work 
* still for the Spiritualists, even when the facts are 
generally accepted, as they are likely to be within 
the next quarter of a century. 

For portions of this volume, I can claim no 
other merit than that of a compilation. Some of it, 
however, is compiled from past publications of my 
own. For what I have adopted from others I have 
endeavored to give credit, except where the purely 
narrative form of the matter seemed not to require it, 
or its source could not be traced. 

Of late years, our public journalists have gener- 
ally been not only tolerant, but liberal, toward in- 
vestigators into the modern phenomena. In some 
instances, however, holders of the spiritual hypo- 
thesis have been met in a way which would be in- 



suiting, if it were possible for a pedantic arrogance 
to insult. To some of their speculations a learned 
critic, whose audience is rather select than large, 
replies with impertinent personal detraction, — his 
ready relief when confronted by a non^ego that will 
not fit into his pigeon-holes. Then, in all dissen- 
tients, he sees at once a base congenital defect ; by 
the easy and polite imputation of which, without the 
foreign aid of argument, he would explain the au- 
dacious phenomenon of a way of thinking, different 
from his own. 

Less amusing, but equally supercilious, is the re- 
gard which a somewhat higher authority bestows on 
the spirifual theory. 

At this time, when the extreme materialism that 
denies a soul and a future life lifts its head with so 
assured an air, and assumes the tone of scientific 
certainty, claiming the latest discoveries of physiol- 
ogy and biology in its support, it is not for one who 
accepts substantially the leading facts of this volume, 
to be deterred by the ignorant misconceptions and 
the de-haut-en-bas aflfectations of any would-be 
dictators in the world of letters and philosophy, 
from handing on to the next willing hand the torch 
which may help to illumine the occult places of 
truth. These enterprising critics aspire to put a 
stop to the great phenomena of Spiritualism by 
means of powerful leading articles and ingenious 



feats of irony. A sneer at gravitation would have 
about as much effect as their clever writing has had 
in arresting progress. 

Thanks to that Providence who ever proportions 
our natural supply to our needs, physical and spirit- 
ual, the means of opposing to the hypothesis of the 
extreme materialist an array of positive facts are 
now widely familiar; so much so indeed, that the 
time for sarcasms and condescensions towards them 
is past, except among the loiterers in the present 
quick march of mind. An accumulation of facts, 
supported by the most respectable contemporaneous 
testimony, is presented in this book, such as no free, 
sincere intelligence can dismiss with contumely or 
flippant unconcern. To neutralize their force, or to 
induce any person, who does his own thinking, to 
be blind to their importance, it will require some- 
thing more than a sprighdy critique or even a crush- 
ing "editorial," — disgraceful as such insensibility 
may seem to the able editor himself. 

What are we to do with these facts? Criticism 
has done its worst, and they are still irrepressible. 
May we not hope that what is now the desfair 
of Science may one day be its key to much that is 
obscure in the duplex nature of man; its clew 
to a complete rational assurance of his immortal 

£. S. 

Bomw, Jmnnarj, 1869. 



What Science Says of It 1-28 

Planchette, or the little plank— Its caprices — Its genealogy — Related to 
the tipping tables — Science puzzled — Physical disturbances — The phe- 
nomena irrepressible — Resistance to the facts — Cambridge and the me- 
diums — The Professors nonplussed — Their solemn admonition — Herbert 
Spencer— Faraday's test — Science on the high horse — Tyndall and 
Home— Sir David Brewster — Professor Hare— Scientific re-action — 
Dr. EUiotson — Mr. Wilkinson — Professor De Morgan — Testimony of 
electricians — A supercilious philosopher — Humility of true science — 
History repeating itself. 


The Phenomena of 1847 29-54 

Rappings at Hydesville — The Fox femily— Glanvil and Wesley — Melanc- 
thon — Luther — Meeting at Rochester — Letter of William Mountford — 
Multiplication of mediums — Koon's rooms — Davenport Brothers — 
Dr. Gray's letter — Dark circles — Loomis's testimony — Professor Mapes 
— Captain Burton— The Davenports in Europe — French jugglers — 
Messrs. Coleman and Cooper — The Stratford phenomena — H. Greeley 
on Spiritualism — Senator Simmons — Dr. Campbell — Cui bono ? 

Manifestations through Miss Fox 55-79 

Dr. Gray on the phenomena — Mr. L *8 remarkable experiences — 

Kate Fox — Apparitions of Estelle and Dr. Franklin — Spurit flowers, cos- 
tume, &c. — What the seers say — Identity of spirits — Spirit-writing — 
Atmospheric effects — Dr. Gray's confirmatory evidence — * The spirit- 


Manifestations through Mr. Home 80-ioa 

Mediumship of Home — Mrs. Lyon — Lawsuit — Home's affidavit — Per- 
sonal experiences — Thought-reading — Thackeray a Spiritualist — Robert 



Bell — Article in " Cornhill Magazine " — Stranger than fiction — Startling 
phenomena— Spirit-music — Testimony of Dr. Gully and Mr. Varley— 
The fire-test — Elongation of the person — Why are we not all mediums ? 


The Salem Phenomena, &c 104-122 

Manifestations of 1692 and 1 868 — Salem witchcraft — Analogous fects — 
Rev. C. W. Upham's book — Sir Wm. Blackstone — Mr. Lecky— Levi- 
tation — How Mr. Upham explains things — The " Edinburgh Review " — 
Frightened by an hypothesis— The Katies in good company — Medium- 
ship of Charles H. Foster — Personal experiences — Proof of clairvoy- 
ance — Dr. Ashbumer's narrative — Stigmata on the flesh — The Mu- 
chehiey disturbances. 

Various Mediums and Manifestations .... 123-140 

Colchester — Mrs. Cushman — Miss Jennie Lord — Second letter of W. M. 

— Personal experiences — Levitation and spirit-hands — The bass-viol 
played on — Laura V. Ellis — Her imitators — Mr. Danskin's narrative— 
The iron ring — Manifestations through Charles H. Read — Mr. Richard- 
son's affidavit — Spirit-voices — Spirit-photographs — Mr. Mumler — Mr. 
Guay — Professor Gunning — Blind Tom. 

The Seeress of Prevorst—Kerner— Stilling . 141-152 

Frederica Hauff6 and her biographer — Rappings no novelty — Familiar 
phenomena — More fects in clairvoyance — Kindred &cts of science — 
Kemer's " Leaves from Prevorst " — An accurate sketch of would-be critics 

— Applicable to our own day — Refusing to look at fects before deciding 
on them — " London Saturday Review " — Spirits of low degree — Stilling 

— Professor Denton's testimony — Clairvoyance an established scientific 
&ct — Time and space. 

* Somnambulism, Mesmerism, &c 153-200 

Seers and clairvoyants— Personal mesmeric experience — Enlarged horizon 
of Spiritualism — Dr. Carpenter — Lucid somnambulism — Materialists 
worried — They deny clairvoyance — Their dogmatism — The belief in 
immortality— Moleschott—Vogt — Feuerbach — BUchner — A. R. Wal- 
lace — Vogt on the foetus— Conversion of Dr. Elliotson — Dr. Maudsley 
ignores the fects— Dr. Geoiget's will — Mesmer — French Academy — 



Various mesmerists — Arago — Predictions iuliilled — The Stuttgard 
prophecy — Remarkable instances of clairvoyance — Brittan — Zschokke 
on the soul — Shelley — Dr. Bushnell — Captain Yount's dream — Andgit 
oracles — Townshend on the spirit-body — Bacon — Bowles — H. G. 
Atkinson — Not much of a shower — Dr. Elliotson again — The modem 
phenomena known to Billot and Deleuze — Clairvoyance and Spiritualism 
— Nature's guarantee of immortal life — Dr. Franck — Tyndall — J. 
Martineau — Shorter. 



Apparitions — Lord Lyttleton — Dr. Donne — Captain Wheatcroft — Wynyard 
— John Palmer, the actor — Hauntings— The Cock-Lane ghost— Beau- 
mont — Surprising occurrences — Hahn's narrative — Stone - throwing 
phenomena — Strange domgs — Narrative of Dr. Aschauer — Babinet 
and Brownson — Shorter — T. StamjbqiMfi Spiritualism — Carlyle. 


Theories ^. • , 218-278 

Early theories— Dr. E. C. Rogers — Mahan'J'ISray, President Samson— A 
new force — Gasparin — Theory of hallucination — J. W. Jackson — Mr. 
A Leighton — Remarks of "London Spiritual Magazine " -<t Spiritual 
hypothesis — Value of scientific opinions — The iron collar — Double-goers 

— Mr. Owen's narrative — B. Coleman — Apparitions of living persons — 
Low character of communications — Fallible spirits — Daumer's theory 

— Reichenbach on Spiritualism — Theory of Honestas — Of Dr. Ash- 
bumer — Mr. Guppy*s " Mary Jane " theory — Odic theories reviewed by 
Howitt — Rev. C. Beecher on the no-spirit theory — Rehn on the Cor- 
relation of Forces— Wake's psychology — Darwin's hypothesis — Re- 
marks of " London Star " — Character of vouchers — Various solutions — 
The first question. 


Common Objections — Teachings 279-325 

The change wrought by death — Jobard on the vulgar notion — Tendency of 
fiicts — Causes of opposition — Natural repugnance — Higher manifesta- 
tions — Spintualism defined — Absence of dogmatib teaching — Wollaston 

— Jamieson— Judge Carter — Report of Cleveland Committee — Dark 
circles — Dr. Wilkinson — Mr. Shorter — Frivolous objections — Answer 
to " New York Nation " — Pythonism — Antiquity of Spiritualism — Con- 
tradictions — Dr. W. B. Potter — Mr. A. E. Newton's reply — Lord Lytton 
—What is matter — Honestas — Plutarch — Julian the Apostate — General 
agreement — Punishment remedial — Statement from " Pall Mall Gazette " 



— Spirftualism leaderless — Rochester resolutions — Discipline of evil— 
Discourse of a medium — S. J. Finney — Shorter — What is relipon 

— Kardec — A. J. Davis — Bianca Mojon — The Catholic Church— 
Hecker — " Dublin Review " — Diabolical agency — Swedenboigians and 
Spiritualists — Wm. White — Claims to infallibility — Delachambre — 
Lessing — Object of earthly discipline. 

Spiritism, Pre-existence, &c 326-373 

No recognition of leaders — Latour on the phenomena — Allan Kardec — 
Spiritism — Its doctrines — Re - incarnation — Rev. Edward Beecher*8 
"Conflict of Ages" — Origin of evil — J. S. Mill on the Calvinist doc- 
trine — Whittier — A prevalent idea — Kardec on the spirit-body — Henry 
More on pre-existence — Advocates of it — Apparition of Ficinus — Quo- 
tations from Herder, Lessine^^x^ — Tijinsmigration — Herodotus — 
Plato's conception — ^^M0^^^S9^ Rothery — Cudworth — Scho- 
penhauer — Irenaeus — JiPW* JBBfi|i#" Swedenborg — A. J. Davis — 
Cahagnet — E. Beecher. ^,||jinilt^pTerre et Ciel " — The Theological 
hell — Pierre Leroux on ntaMH — Advocates of transmigra- 

tion — Instinctive aspiratiOT!i*^Charles Bonnet — Matter and spirit — 
Hostile camps of science 7— Christian Garve — An American Platonist — 
The poets. 



Modem science in harmony with Spiritualism — Schroeder van der Kolk — 
^ Memory imperishable — Marvels of memory — Coleridge — Sir William 
Hamilton — Dupotet — Sensitives — Experiences of Zschokke — Of Des- 
champs — Of Goethe and Lavater— Of Forceythe Willson— Reichen- 
bach's experiments — Professor Denton's " Soul of Things " — Dr. Ber- 
trand on the soul — A knowledge of psychometry an incentive to a high 

Cognate Facts and Phenomena 390-400 

Spiritualism of the Bible — Ai;g:ustine on miracles — Testimony of Evodius, 
a bishop of the early church — The scholastic ages — Catholic miracles — 
Testimony of St. Theresa — Reply to Renan by Mountford — Guardian 
angels — Speaking in unknolm tongues — Oriental phenomena — Plan- 
chette in China — Phenomena among the Druses — The North- American 
Indians — Why must there be mediums — Davis on mediumship — S. J. 
Finney on spirit and matter — Seneca — Death and its sequel — Sudden 
disappearance of the belief in witchcraft — Concluding remarks. 



" Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on Him?"— ych$t, 

'T^HE future historian of the nmrveUous cannot well avoid 
some mention of the planchette oe ** little plank." For his 
benefit, we will remark that the year 1868 witnessed the appear- 
ance of the planchette, in great numbers, in the booksellers' 
shops of the United States. 

Why so sudden a demand for it should have sprung up, no- 
body could explain. Planchette was nothing new. For twelve 
or fifteen years it had been common in France, where it received 
its name. It was simply an improvement on some ruder instru- 
ment that had been in use among the original American inves- 
tigators, of the year 1848, into the rapping and table- tipping 

The planchette is a little heart-shaped table with three legs, 
one of which is a pointed lead-pencil, that can be slipped in and 
out of a socket, and by means of which marks can be made on 
paper. The other two legs have (^fl^L attached, which can be 
easily moved in any direction. T^^^Bof this table is usually 
about seven inches long and five wi^^^^t the apex of the heart 
is the socket, lined with rubber, through which the pencil is 

Not improbably, some future antiquarian will discover that 
this mystic toy was in use long before the days of Pythagoras. 


The phenomenon of the tipping tables was known twenty cen- 
turies ago. 

The form of the planchette is of little consequence, and may 
be regulated by the caprice of the manufacturer. The instru- 
ment is made light, so that the slightest application of force will 
move it. As for the insulated casters and other "patent" con- 
trivances, they are of no account, except to give novelty to an 

When the modern rapping phenomena began to be investi- 
gated, communications were received by the tedious process of 
calling over the alphabet, and noting down the letters at which 
the rap was given. Then, when the movements of tables took 
place, it was suggested that by arranging a pencil at the foot of 
a light table, and placing a sheet of paper under it, the intelli- 
gent force that was operating might produce written sentences. 

The device was tried, and found successful. The table, once 
set in motion by the passive influence of a medium, began 
to trace characters, then words and sentences. This method 
was finally simplified by substituting little tables, the size of a 
hand ; then small baskets, pasteboard boxes, and finally the flat 
piece of wood, running on little wheels, and called Planchette. 

Here we have the genealogy of the planchette. It is, you 
see, the direct oiOfspring of the tipping table. The phenomena 
in which it is made instrumental are, for the most part, the 

And now, what will Planchette do? 

Place it on the smooth wood of a table, and let one person, or 
two or more, of a particular organizatioih rest the fingers on it 
lightly, and it will soon begin to move ; and this without any 
conscious intent or acti^^^^e part of any individual present, 
as there is reason to be^^^V 

Then, by placing a sn^^^f white paper under the pencil, it 
will be found that intelligible sentences wiH be written out by 
these movements. 

There would be nothing curious in all tl is, were it not for the 
character of these sentences in many instances. Expressions 



wholly foreign to the mental habits of the operators will be found 
on the paper. Thus, the pious will be made to write profanely ; 
and the profane will be suddenly made instrumental in the pro- 
duction of messages which might do credit to Madame Guyon 
or to Vincent de Paul. But the results are as various as the 
idiosyncrasies of individuals. 

Frequently, answers to mental questions will be given with a 
directness that leaves no doubt as to the intelligence of the oper- 
ating force. 

For example : the other day an affectionate father put a men- 
tal inquiry, to which the instantaneous reply, under the hands 
of a child, was "A husband." The question had been, "What 
does Miss Susan want?" The inquirer then asked what sum 
he had paid for repairing a certain garment, and the answer was 
correctly given, "Three dollars and seventy-five cents." 

What wonder that the planchette should be getting to be a 
puzzle and a study to thousands of intelligent inquirers, for 
whom the great problems of psychology and physiology have a 
not irrational interest? 

It must not be supposed that the " little plank" will be equally 
communicative under the fingers of all. In the majority of cases 
it obstinately refuses to move. The failures are very numerous. 
Probably not more than ten out of a hundred persons in a mixed 
assemblage would be found, through whom the phenomena 
• would take place ; and in these hundred there might possibly be 
one who would prove a good medium. Such a one will soon 
discard the planchette as of no use, in the production of phe- 
nomena far more extraordinary than any got by its aid. 

The editor of the "Boston Journal of Chemistry," Dr. James 
R. Nichols, with a candor somewhat rare among men of science, 
remarks (September, 1868), of the phenomena of Planchette and 
the tipping tables : " The position assumed by a majority of 
scientific men towards this class of phenomena is that of entire 
disbelief. They do not separate the physical disturbances, the 
outward show of force by unseen agencies, from the spiritual 
interpretation mixed up with, or inseparably connected, as tha^ 



suppose, with the phenomena. The whole matter is regarded 
as a sham and a delusion, unworthy of thought or investiga- 

**A considerable number, however, have reached a different 
conclusion. They only direct attention to a single point, and 
first clear away all the rubbish with which it is incumbered. 
The great question is, Whether these alleged physical disturbances 
actually occur or not, independent of direct and palpable human 
agency. Is it mischief, or is it not? Is it delusion, or is it not? 
These questions they have settled in their own minds ; and the 
conclusion is, that the phenomena are undeniably real, 

" Not a step further will they go; beyond this all is misty and 
dark. Many occupy this position who hesitate to admit it, as 
there is in scientific circles a peculiar sensitiveness upon the subject; 
and odium and disgrace are liable to rest on any one, no matter 
how high his position may be, who cherishes a belief even in 
the reality of the physical disturbances. We incline to think 
the popularity of Planchette may serve to break a link in the 
chain of prejudice that binds fast honest convictions, and permit 
a little more freedom in thought and investigation." 

If the ** little plank" shall accomplish as much as this, it will 
not have been wholly unproductive of good ; but science must put 
off its dictatorial attitude, and take facts as they present them- 
selves, before it can hope to make any progress in the path of 
interpretation and induction. The writer adds : — 

** We are asked to explain Planchette. To do this would be 
to explain a most remarkable and extensive class of physical 
phenomena, beginning with the antics of the little heart-shaped 
table, and running up through parlor table-tippings, rappings, 
writing, &c., to the more astounding physical disturbances, 
noises, and hub-bub, witnessed in so many dwellings in this 
country and in Europe. There are probably a dozen or more 
families disturbed in this mysterious manner in the United States 
at the present moment; but every effort is made at concealment, 
as but few people of respectability feel that they can bear up 
under the public odium attached to such proceedings. 



** We once, for several hours, listened to the recital of what 
occurred in the dwelling of Rev. Dr. Phelps, of Stratford, Conn., 
from the lips of the venerable man himself. We were reduced 
to the alternative, from listening to his statement, of regarding 
him, his family, and a wide circle of intelligent friends, as the 
most egregiously duped, deluded, cheated circle of men and 
women, the greatest liars and impostors, that ever lived, or of 
believing in the reality of phenomena, which human reason and 
human science were incompetent to explain. We felt compelled 
to adopt the latter alternative. 

"Thousands, from the strange and unusual character of the 
phenomena, have been driven to a belief in their supernatural 
origin, and the unfortunate delusidn has spread throughout the 
civilized world. We incline to think exaggerated views are 
entertained respecting the competency of scientific men to shed 
light upon the subject. The key to the mystery must be found 
before any reliable solution is reached. We will not weary the 
reader with details of what the writer has seen. Suffice it to say, 
that enough has been observed to lead to the conclusion, that 
there is one foiver^ impulse, or force, in nature, regarding the 
character of which, mankind are totally in the dark, 

" It has proved, so far as our experiments extend, a most 
difficult and baffling subject to investigate. The nature of this 
difficulty is illustrated in Planchette. Why cannot one person 
cause it to move as well as another? Why does it sometimes 
utterly and ignominiously fail when those are present who have 
the strongest desire to witness its movements, and when those 
who are supposed to influence its movements share in this desire.' 
The attempt, or design, to carefully and methodically investi- 
gate and study the phenomenon appears to arrest it. In some 
families, a lady, or a child even, stands in such relations to the 
instrument as to cause it *to move by passing it at a consider- 
able distance. It seems full of impatience to work when such 
persons are in the house; and it will write, leap, and run about 
as if impelled by an irresistible impulse. It has occurred, when 
such a family has invited one or more ladies or gentlemen to an 



investigffction of its performances, and they have come, that the 
results have been frivolous and unsatisfactory. A calm, philo- 
sophical, careful man is not likely to become convinced of the 
reality of this class of phenomena from such exhibitions. 

"Several years ago we invited a friend — a highly distin- 
guished professor in one of our largest Universities — to visit a 
house where certain extraordinary physical disturbances were 
alleged to be taking place, apparently in connection with a girl 
about twelve years of age belonging to the family. In this in- 
stance, the power was uncommonly demonstrative, the force 
being brought to bear upon several articles of furniture, but 
more particularly upon a parlor-table, which danced and tumbled 
about the room, entirely regiirdless of the professor's cool in- 
vestigations and ingenious tests to * discover the trick.* This 
he entirely failed to accomplish. There were no conducting 
wires, springs, pulleys, or levers to be found ; and the little girl 
and family were manifestly as ignorant of what produced the 
phenomena as ourselves. A large number of theories were pro- 
pounded and discussed, not one of which was in the least satis- 
factory; and the whole affair remains a mystery. 

"In explanation, we hear it often stated that it is due to 
animal magnetism. Of course, such declarations must come 
from the unlearned or unscientific, as science recognizes no 
such force or principle in nature as animal magnetism. Some 
kinds of fishes possess electrical power^ and can impart shocks ; 
but then they carry about with them a little arrangement of 
cells or batteries, which is the source of the electrical force. 
Human beings are not supposed to possess any such endow- 
ment. It is very convenient to have a term to apply in explana- 
tion of the phenomena among the crowd, although it may be 
entirely unmeaning and empirical. Electricity offers no expla- 
nation; neither does magnetism, as at present understood. 
Chemical laws and principles are appealed to in vain for a 
solution ; and as regards * odic force,' we have not the slightest 
knowledge of what that is. 

" In conclusion, we venture the opinion, that if the phenomena 



are ever explained, they will be found to be due to a blending 
of the psychological and physical endowments of the human ^ 
organization, acting under certain laws entirely dissimilar to 
any now known or understood. Who will produce the key that 
will unlock the mystery ? " 

Such are the conclusions of an educated chemist in regard to 
these phenomena which have been attracting so large a share 
of public attention for the last twenty years. Instead of being 
"put down" and "exploded," as we have been repeatedly told, 
they are now extorting from men of science a reluctant recogni- 
tion, after years of bitter hostility and denunciation on their 
part, to which, however, there have been conspicuous excep- 

Perhaps Dr. Nichols is a little hasty in pronouncing the 
spiritual hypothesis "an unfortunate delusion." This, to say 
the least, is as yet an open question. But it is something gained 
to have the phenomena admitted. We may honestly diiOfer as 
to their cause. Having agreed upon the facts, — whatever oUr 
theory as to the origin may be, whether we decide in favor of 
some unknown force not spiritual, or conclude, for want of a 
better term, that the force is spiritual, — let us not stigmatize 
those who diiSer from us on this point, as under " an unfortunate 

The " Scientific American," the principal scientific journal of 
the United States, has had its attention attracted by Planchette 
to these despised phenomena ; and, in one of its issues, of July, 
1868, manfully makes the admission, that " a peculiar :Cla8s of 
phenomena have manifested themselves within the last quarter 
of a century, which seem to indicate that the human body may 
become the medium for the transmission of force to inert and 
dead matter, either, in obedience to the will of others, or by the 
action of the nervous power upon the muscular system, in such 
a way that those through whom or from whom it emanates are 
totally unconscious of any exercise of volition, or of any mus- 
cular movement, as acts of their own wills." 

The only expression here that we would modify, is in the 



remark that these phenomena have manifested themselves with- 
in " the last quarter of a century." The annals of the race are 
full of them, back to the first dawn of authentic history. They 
have been interrogated and examined in a different spirit dur- 
ing the last quarter of a century ; and that is the only respect in 
which they can be said^to differ essentially from many of the 
phenomena of witchcraft, necromancy, somnambulism, mes- 
merism, &c., so long known and disputed. 

The same journal remarks, "The spirit with which scientific 
men have looked upon these phenomena has been unfortu- 
nately such as has retarded their solution. Skepticism as to 
their reality, although they were corroborated by evidence that 
would be convincing upon any other subject ; refusal to inves- 
tigate, except upon their own conditions ; and ridicule not only 
of the phenomena themselves, but of those who believe in them, — 
have marked the course of scientific men ever since these mani- 
festations have laid claim to public credence. Such a spirit 
savors of bigotry. The phenomena of table-tipping, spirit- 
rapping so called, and the various manifestations which manji> 
have claimed to be the efiect of other wills acting upon and 
through the medium of their persons, are exerting an immense 
influence, good or bad, throughout the civilized world. They 
should, therefore, be candidly examined ; and if they are purely 
physical phenomena, as has been claimed, they should be re- 
ferred to their true cause." 

Dr. J. Ray, well known in the United States for his works on 
Medical Jurisprudence, contributes to the ** American Journal of 
Insanity," of October, 1867, a paper, in which he admits that many 
of the facts of Spiritualism " are susceptible of proof, and are 
attested by evidence that places them beyond a reasonable 
doubt." "They indicate," he says, "the existence of agencies, 
certainly, that have not yet been admitted into the philosophy 
of the schools. It is to be regretted, that the present tendency 
is to ignore them entirely, rather than to make them a subject 
of scientific investigation. It is surprising that physicians, 
especially, with such well-recognized affections before them as 



catale\>sy, somnambulism, ecstasies, and double consciousness, 
should jump to the conclusion that all the facts of Spiritualism 
and animal magnetism are utterly anomalous and impossible." 

The first elaborate attempt to give a bad name to these phe- 
nomena was the " knee-joint theory " of Drs. Lee and Flint, in 
1849. It was declared that the raps were made by a slipping of 
the knee-joint, and a pamphlet was published to prove it. In- 
numerable were the denunciations from scientific quarters, that 
then followed the contemned phenomena. The testimony of 
thousands of competent witnesses was set aside as worthless. 
They did not know "how to observe." They had not had the 
advantage of a "thorough scientific training;" and they could 
not use their eyes and ears and other senses in a manner to 
afford any guaranty whatever that they were not under an hallu- 

Such was the language of the late Professor Felton, of Har- 
vard College ; and in England, of the celebrated Faraday and of 
Sir David Brewster. 

Every now and then paragraphs would appear in the news- 
papers, headed "The humbug exploded at last," "Spiritualism 
exposed," &c. And then we would be told that some " medium" 
had turned State's evidence, and had revealed how the " tricks** 
were accomplished. There have been many such mediums, 
who, having failed to attract attention by genuine phenomena, 
have hoped to reach the public ear and the public purse by 
undertaking to disclose how the manifestations were brought 
about. But, like Balaam, they could not curse whom God would 
not curse. 

All such attempts on the part of deserters have resulted in lit- 
tle that was satisfactory ; although they have had a good effect in 
making investigators more wary, by showing that some of the 
phenomena of the dark circles, especially the rope-tying experi- 
ments, may be adroitly simulated. 

In the year 1857, ^ reward having been offered by the publish- 
ers of the "Boston Courier" for the production of certain phe- 
nomena, a well-known investigator, Dr. H. F. Gardner, of 



Boston, undertook to exhibit them before a committee of pro- 
fessors of Harvard University, composed of Benjamin Peirce, 
Louis Agassiz, B. A. Gould, and E. N. Horsford, all of them 
gentlemen of the highest scientific distinction. 

The result of the rash experiment may be read in the follow- 
ing report, made by this committee, and dated Cambridge, 
Mass., June 29, 1857 • — 

"The Committee award that Dr. Gardner having failed to 
produce before them an agent or medium who * communicated a 
word imparted to the spirits in an adjoining room,' * who read 
a word in English written inside a book or folded sheet of 
paper,* * who answered any question * which the superior intel- 
ligence must be able to answer,' who * tilted a piano without 
touching it, or caused a chair to move a foot,' and having failed 
to exhibit to the committee any phenomenon which, under the 
widest latitude of interpretation, could be regarded as equivalent 
to either of these proposed tests, or any phenomenon which 
required for its production, or in any manner indicated a force 
which could technically be denominated spiritual, or which was 
hitherto unknown to science, or a phenomenon of which the 
cause was not palpable to the committee, is, therefore, not enti- 
tled to claim from the * Boston Courier ' the proposed premium 
of five hundred dollars. 

" It is the opinion of the committee, derived from observa- 
tion, that any connection with spiritualistic circles, so called, 
corrupts the morals and degrades the intellect. They therefore 
deem it their solemn duty to warn the community against this 
contaminating influence, which surely tends to lessen the truth 
of man and the purity of woman. 

* That there has been some progress since the Cambridge professors set down this 
phenomenon of seeing through opaque substances as one of their impossibilities, may 
be seen from the " Edinburgh Review " (July, 1868), where that highly conservative 
authority admits the fact, as follows: "Sleep-walkers have been known, who could 
not only walk, ^nd perform all ordinary acts in the dark as well as in the light, but who 
went on writing or reading without interruption, though an opaque substance — a book 
or a slate — was interposed, and would dot the Cs and cross the fs with unconscious 
correctness, without any use of their eyes." 



"The committee will publish a report of their proceedings, 
together with the results of additional investigations and other 
* evidence, independent of the special case submitted to them, but 
bearing upon the subject of this stupendous delusion." 

The promised report has not jet (i868) seen the light. 

The solemn admonitions of the Cambridge professors against 
the " stupendous delusion " seem to have been of little effect in 
repressing inquiry or checking belief in the manifestations ; inas- 
much as Spiritualists who could then be reckoned by thousands 
must now be estimated at millions. 

Dr. Gardner, on his side, reported that the four learned gen- 
tlemen insisted upon prescribing conditions that were fatal to the 
^ production of the subtle and evasive phenomena, obtained, inde- 
pendently of the will, from various mediums. 

On this occasion, the mediums were Miss Kate Fox, Mrs. Brown 
(of the Fox family), Mr. J. V. Mansfield, Mr. Kendrick, the 
Davenport Brothers, and Dr. G. A. Redman, since deceased. 

Raps were produced, but the committee were not satisfied that 
this now common manifestation, which no intelligent person 
questions, was not some mech^ical trick. 

At the first sitting, Mr. Agassiz and others refused to sit at the 
table. The committee had agreed to make the conditions har- 
monious, as far as they could. Here, at the outset, was a devia- 
tion which discomposed the mediums. Mr. Redman, in his 
" Mystic Hours," states, that, on being importuned to join the 
circle, Mr. Agassiz averred that he had sworn never to sit in a 
circle, and meant to adhere to his oath. 

Redman significantly asks, "For what was he present? Re- 
ceiving no manifestations of any consequence. Dr. Gardner and 
myself retired to an ante-room to inquire of the operating 
intelligence what next should be done? Scarcely were we 
seated at the table, when it moved violently ; and a communica- 
tion was written, from right to left, to the purport, that unless 
all present were willing to receive, and shaped their actions 
accordingly, nothing could be done. We announced the sub- 
stance of the message to the party. Mr. Agassiz desired to ace 



the manuscript: it was shown to him; when, without hesita- 
tion, he declared / had written it, and * that it was sheer 
humbug.* ... ^ 

" I now politely invited Mr. Agassiz to join me in the ante- 
room, and we would try alone ; that no doubt he would be more 
successful. * Sit with said Mr. A., *No! *I have resolved 

to sit with no one. I made up my mind before coming here, 
that nothing would come of it; and I am only the more con- 
vinced it is all deception.* I could say no more." 

The experiments with the Brothers Davenport were reserved 
for the last. The following is the account given by Dr. T. L. 
Nichols, their English biographer (1865) : — 

" At the beginning, they were submitted to a cross-examina- 
tion. The professors exercised their ingenuity in proposing 
tests. * Would they submit to be handcuffed ? * — * Yes.* — * Would 
they allow men to hold them ? * — * Yes.' A dozen propositions 
were made, accepted, and then rejected by those who made them. 
If any test was accepted by the brothers, that was reason enough 
for not trying it. They were supposed to be prepared for that, 
so some other must be found. It was of no use to put them to 
any test to which they were ready and apparently eager to 

" At last the ingenious professors fell back upon rope, — their 
own rope and plenty of it. They brought five hundred feet of 
new rope, selected for the purpose. They bored the cabinet, set 
up in one of their own rooms, Ad to which they had free 
access, full of holes. They tied the two boys in the most 
thorough and the most brutal manner. They have, as any one 
may see, or feel, small wrists, and hands large in proportion, — 
good, solid hands, which cannot be slipped through a ligature 
which fits even loosely on the wrists. When they were tied 
hand and foot, arms, legs, and in every way, and with every kind 
of complicated knotting, the ropes were drawn through the holes 
boi^d in the cabinet, and firmly knotted outside so as to make a 
network over the boys. After all, the knots were tied with linen 



"Professor Peirce then took his place in the cabinet between 
the two brothers, who could scarcely breathe, so tightly were 
they secured. As he entered, Professor Agassiz was seen to put 
something in his hand. The side doors were closed and fastened. 
The centre door was no sooner shut than the bolt was shot on 
them inside, and Professor Peirce stretched out both hands to 
see which of the two firmly bound boys had done it. The phan- 
tom hand was shown, the instruments were rattled : the profes- 
sor felt them about his head and face, and at every movement 
kept pawing on each side with his hands, to find the boys both 
bound as firm as ever. Then the mysterious present of Pro- 
fessor Agassiz became apparent. The professor ignited some 
phosphorus by rubbing it between his hands, and half-suffocated 
himself and the boys with its fumes in trying to see the trick or 
the confederate. 

"At last, both boys were untied from all the complicated 
fastenings without and within the cabinet ; and the ropes were 
found twisted around the neck of the watchful Professor Peirce I 
Well, and what came of it all? Did the professors of Harvard 
tell what they had seen? Not in the least. To this day they 
have made no report whatever of the result of their investiga- 
tion, and are probably, to this day, denouncing it all as humbug, 
imposture, delusion, &c. What can a man of science do with al 
fact he cannot account for, except deny it? It is the simplest J 
way of overcoming a difficulty, and avoiding the confession that 
there is something in the world which he does not understand. 
Of all men. in the world, men of science, and especially scien- | 
tific professors, are the last to acknowledge that * there are more I 
things in heaven and earth, than are dreamt of in their phi- ' 
losophy.' " 

Thus ended the famous investigation into the phenomena by 
the Cambridge professors. As appropriate to the subject, we 
quote the following remarks from a letter by the late Dr. William 
Gregory, of Edinburgh, a well-known writer an^ physician : — 

"The rational inquirer will soon find that there arc innumera- 
ble causes of failnre,— tuch as the state of health of the sub- 


ject; the state of the weather; the state of body or mind of the 
experimenter; and last, not least, the influence of the bystand- 
ers, above all if they be skeptical, prejudiced, or excited by con- 
troversy. Whether in magnetism, in clairvoyance, or spiritual 
manifestations, we who have experimented know these things ; 
but the scientific committees never do, and hence they most 
unreasonably expect, and indeed some observers as unreasona- 
bly promise, uniform success, as the test of truth. 

" Fbr many years past I have never accepted any such chal- 
lenge or test; nor have I made any attempt to convince, in this 
way, men who are capable of expressing decided opinions pre- 
vious to their having examined the subject. All that I ever 
consent to do is to make the trial, on the express understanding 
that failure proves nothing as to the disputed truth. And even 
then I reject all dictation as to conditions, as I will only experi- 
ment under the conditions presented by Nature, to whom the 
skeptics have no right to dictate. Our duty is to study Nature as 
she presents herself, and to take the facts as we find them. We 
may alter the conditions if we please ; but we have no right 
to insist that the facts shall be produced under such altered 
conditions as the uneducated judgment may dictate or fancy 

In England the savans have been quite as intractable as their 
' American brethren. Mr. Herbert Spencer settles the question 
on a priori grounds, as glibly as if Bacon had not long since 
shown the ^absurdity of a priori objections to attested facts. 
Professor W. D. Gunning, of Boston, who lately (1868) had an 
interview with Mr. Spencer, writes : "In the course of the con- 
versation, he referred to a great naturalist. *Mr. Spencer,* said 
I, *do you know that Mr. — has become a Spiritualist?' 
* Yes,' he said, * and I am greatly surprised.' * Did you ever 
look at the phenomena?' *No,' he said, *I never did. I have 
settled this question in my own mind on a priori grounds '1 
Now, Herbert Spencer, for whose power as a thinker no one has a 
higher respect than myself, is writing a great work on psy- 
chology; and he settles these questions of odyle, trance, and of 

Faraday's test. 


obsession — involving the very nature of the soul and its pow- 
ers — on a priori grounds. The savans had settled the impossi- 
bility of meteoric stones a priori. But things settled in that 
way won't stay settled." 

Everybody has heard of the philosopher who refused to look 
through a microscope, on being told it would unsettle a favorite 

In England, the late Professor Faraday committed himself, at 
an early period, against the possibility of the " spiritual phe- 
nomena. His declaration that, *' before we proceed to consider 
any question involving physical principles, we should set out 
with clear ideas of the naturally possible and impossible," was 
severely handled by Professor A. De Morgan, the distinguished 

The whole assumption on which Faraday based his objection 
to facts of supposed spiritual agency was a misconception. 
Neither in table-moving nor any other of these phenomena is 
the creation of force implied, as he imagined, but simply the 
employment of existing forces by invisible intelligences ; a view 
which, whether it be true or false, is at least not manifestly im- 

The only practical suggestion on this subject by Faraday was 
the emplojrment of an instrument to test whether the alleged 
table-movements were, or were not, caused by the muscular 
pressure of the sitters around it; but, apart from other consid- 
erations, this suggestion was at once disposed of by the fact 
that these movements frequently occurred without the slightest 
contact with the table. 

In 1865, Faraday wrote, "They who say they see these things 
are not competent witnesses of facts." 

The facts which Faraday had so unhesitatingly pronounced to 
proceed from involuntary muscular action^ and from no other 
cause, had become so unruly, that, after some fruitless attempts 
to right himself, he gave up the subject in disgust. 

At length, however, the numerous and circumstantial descrip- 
tions given by men of high note, and dinned into his ears, had 



their effect; and he signified his desire to see for himself. A 
meeting was accordingly arranged for him by Sir Emerson 
Tennant, at which Mr. Home, the medium, was to be present. 
iBut, lol the day before the sitting was to have been held, Fara- 
day demanded a programme of what was to take place ! 

In a letter dated June 14, 1861, he says, "It would be a con^ 
descension on my part to pay any more attention to them [the 
occult phenomena] now." He asks, "Does Mr. Home wish me 
to go? Is he willing to investigate as a philosopher, and, as 
such, to have no concealments, no darkness ? . . . Does he make 
himself responsible for the effects, and identify himself more or 
less with their cause? Would he be glad if their delusive charac- 
ter were established and exposed ; and would he gladly help to 
expose it, or would he be annoyed and personally offended? 
Does he consider the effects natural or supernatural ? If natural, 
what are the laws which govern them ? or does he think they 
are not subject to laws ? If supernatural, does he suppose them 
to be miracles or the work of spirits? If the work of spirits, 
would an insult to the spirits be .considered as an insult to him- 
self f If the effects are miracles, or the work of spirits, does he 
admit the utterly contemptible character, both of t|iem and their 
results, up to the present time, in respect either of yielding 
information or instruction, or supplying any force or action of 
the least value to mankind?" 

Such was the spirit in which the great scientist approached 
the subject. And Mr. John Tyndall, the eulogist of Faraday, 
and hardly his inferior as a man of science, makes the follow- 
Jng announcement, under date of May 8, 1868 : " I hold myself in 
readiness to witness and investigate, in the spirit of the forego- 
ing letter, such phenomena as Mr. Home may wish to reveal to 
me during the month of June." 

Mr. Tyndall, echoing Faraday, calls upon Mr. Home, as pre- 
liminary to the ** condescension " of an investigation by Mr. 
Tyndall, to " admit the utterly contemptible character of the 
manifestations and their results"! 

In his reply to Mr. Tyndall, Mr. Homq writes, ** I would ask 



if this is the tone of a humble student and inquirer, prepared to 
analyze and ascertain facts, or whether it be not the sign of a 
mind far gone in prejudging the question at issue ?. . . . When 
these matters first engaged public attention, Professor Faraday 
had, unfortunately, publicly decided they were due to involun- 
tary muscular action ; and, as time went on,* every development 
of them which proved the incorrectness of his explanation was 
received almost as a personal affront 1>y him. . . . Mr. Tyndall 
says he is ready to witness and investigate in the spirit of Mr. 
Faraday's letter. From the attitude he takes up, I fully believe 
it ; and as such spirit is not that of logic, nor according to the 
true scientific method, I will wait until he can approach the sub- 
ject in a more humble frame of mind." 

Mr. Tyndall having introduced into his correspondence the 
name of Mr. W. M. Wilkinson, that gentleman addressed a letter 
to the " Pall Mall Gazette," of London, in which, referring to 
Mr. TyndalFs proposition to retain Faraday's preliminary te^ts, 
he says, if conditions are to be the order of the day, he would 
like answers from Mr. Tyndall on certain preliminaries: — 

" If he insist on having an answer to the question whether 
what he is about to investigate *can be of any use or value to 
mankind,' I shall require him to answer whether the cut bono has 
been introduced into science as a bar to inquiry and^ if so, when / 
The history of science is full of instances in which centuries have 
elapsed between the observation of phenomena and their appli- 
cation to useful purposes. More than a thousand years the 
world had to wait before the known qualities of conic sections 
were applied in carpentry ; and it was many years before the first 
experimentp in electricity jcnded in the electric telegraph." 

When the Davenport Brothers visited England in 1864, yet 
another opportunity was offered Professor Faraday to set him- 
self right on the great question. Twenty-four gentlemen met at 
the house of Mr. Dion Boucicault, and, after a most searching 
and thorough investigation of the manifestations, unanimously 
agreed, that they " could arrive at no other conclusion than that 
there was no trace of trickery in any form, and certainly there 



were neither confederates nor machinery; and that, so far as 
their investigations enabled them to form an opinion, the phe- 
nomena which had taken place in their presence were not the 
product of legerdemain." 

Professor Faraday was one of those invited ; and, on this oc- 
casion, he might have had, what on the former occasion he had 
thought so necessary, a programme; inasmuch as with the 
Davenports the same general order of phenomena, and in the 
same sequence, usually take place. This time, however, the de- 
mand was not repeated ; but, while acknowledging the courteous 
invitation of the Brothers, he expressed himself " disappointed " 
with the "manifestations," and therefore left them "in the 
hands of the professors of legerdemain." 

" If," he wrote, " spirit communications, not utterly worth- 
less, should happen to start into activity, I will trust the spirits 
to find out for themselves how they can move my attention^ I am 
tired of themJ** 

It is barely possible that the spirits did not regard it as a mat- 
ter of supreme importance to find out how they might move Mr. 
Faraday's attention. 

Among the gentlemen present at the meeting which Faraday 
declined to attend, and all of whom testified to the good faith 
with which the experiments were conducted, were Lord Bury ; 
Sir Charles Nicholson; Sir John Gardiner; Rev. E. H. Newen- 
ham ; Charles Reade, author of " Foul glay," &c. ; Rev. W. Ellis ; 
Captain Inglefield, the Arctic explorer ; Robert Bell, the author ; 
Robert Chambers, publisher and author; Dr. E. Tyler Smith; 
and other well-known persons. 

The late Sir David Brewster was almost as unfortunate as 
Faraday in his relations to this perplexing subject. In the early 
part of 1855, on the invitation of Mr. William Cox, of Jermyn 
Street, London, Brewster was at a sda7ice, where Mr. Home was 
the medium. The late Lord Brougham, the late Mrs. Trollope, 
her son Mr. Thomas Trollope, and Mr. Benjamin Coleman, were 
also present. Seated in a private room, in the open light of day, 
the party saw, among other extraordinary things, a heavy table 



rise from the floor ; a phenomenon which Faraday had asserted 
the " undeviating truth" of Newton's law would not permit, and 
which, to believe in, was proof of " deficiency of judgment." 

In a letter to Mr. Coleman (Oct. 9, 1855), Brewster writes, 
"It is true that, at Mr. Cox's house, Mr. Home, Mr. Cox, Lord 
Brougham, and myself sat down to a small table, Mr. Home 
having f)reviously requested us to examine if there was any ma- 
chinery about his person ; an examination, however, which we 
declined to make. When all our hands wer^ upon the table, 
«ioises were heard, rappings in abuniiaftce^ and finally, when 
we rose up, the table actually rose, as appeared to me, from the 
ground. This result I do not attempt to explain." 

In a conversation afterwards with Mr. Coleman, as the latter 
testifies, Sir David Brewster scouted the idea of there having 
been trick or delusion in the matter; but said, " Spirit is the last 
thing I will give in to." 

At first stunned and surprised. Sir David seems to have subse- 
quently been laughed out of his profound impressions, and to have 
joined the scoffers. He wrote a letter to the "Morning Adver- 
tiser," in which he affected to cast ridicule on the subject. Mr. 
Cox, Mr.. Trollope, and Mr. Coleman, each wrote to refute Sir 
David, and placed him in a position before the public not the 
most honorable to his consistency and courage. 

Goaded by these confutations, he afterwards, in a published 
addressi dismissed the §tupendous amount of testimony con- 
firming the phenomena of Spiritualism, with the following 
words : *' All such beliefs are the result of an imperfect education, 
of the want of general knowledge. They are the observations 
of ill-trained faculties, the cravings of morbid and mystic tem- 
peraments that have been suckled on the husks and garbage of 
literature," &c. 

And yet his own letter is in existence, in which he says, " This 
result [the rising of the table] I do not attempt to explain " I 

He sees a table under his nose rise from the ground; does not 
attempt to explain it; will, on reflection, rather distrust his 
senses than admit that the fact was other than an appearance; 



and contents himself with referring the belief of others, seeing 
a similar thing, and believing that thejr see it, to " ill-trained 
faculties "1 

If such is to be the last word of science on the subject, is it to 
be wondered that science has been told not to block the way? 

It is pleasant to turn from these instances of arrogance and 
illiberality on the part of men of science to others of a ^ry dif- 
ferent character, from men who are their peers. The late Pro- 
fessor Hare (born, in Philadelphia, 1781, died 1858) was eminent 
both as a chemist and electrician. For twenty-nine years he was# 
professor of chemistry in the medical school of the university 
of Pennsylvania. After first maintaining, in a published letter, 
dated July 27, 1853, mechanical view of the phenomena taken 
by Faraday, Dr. Hare instituted a series of scientific tests and 
experiments, the result of which was, that he became convinced 
there was a new order of facts which could not be explained on 
Faraday*s theory. Though he may be charged with credulity in 
accepting much that came by supposed spiritual communi- 
cations, no one can deny that he investigated the physical phe- 
nomena with a rare amount of patience and skill. He was 
thoroughly convinced of the genuineness of the manifesta- 

Dr. Hare had been an unbeliever in deity and in the immor- 
tality of the soul. Shortly before his death, he avowed himself 
not only a Spiritualist, but " a believer in revelation, and in a 
revelation through Jesus of Nazareth." 

Somewhat similar to the experience of Dr. Hare was that of 
Dr. John Elliotson, F.R.S., president of the Royal Medical and 
Chirurgical Society of London, and who died July, 1868, at the 
age of eighty. He had been a fearless investigator of the phe- 
nomena of mesmerism, but had rejected some of the higher 
marvels of somnambulism and clairvoyance. A materialist in 
his belief, he had written an elaborate treatise denying the ex- 
istence of an immortal soul. He denounced all mediums as 
impostors, and regarded as mere delusions the facts claimed by 
modern Spiritualism. 



In the year 1863, being at Dieppe, he was introduced to Mr. ' 
D. D. Home, and spent some time in investigating, with the aid 
of the sons of his friend, Dr. Symes, the phenomena attributed 
to Spiritualism. The result was, in the language of the "London 
Morning Post," of Aug. 3, 1868, ** that he expressed his convic- 
tion of the truth of the phenomena, and became a sincere Chris- 
tian, whose handbook henceforth was the Bible. Some time 
After this, he said he had been living all his life in darkness, and 
had thought there was nothing in existence but the material." 

Professor A. De Morgan,' of London, as contemporary encyclo- 
pedias will show, is of the first eminence as a mathematician. 
In 1863, a volume of some four hundred pages, from the pen of 
his wife, appeared, bearing the title, ** From Matter to Spirit: 
the Result of Ten Years* Experience in Spfrit Manifestations." 
The preface is by the professor himself ; and in it he plainly ad- 
mits his belief in the reality of the phenomena, although incred- 
ulous as to their spiritual origin. • 

"I have no. acquaintance," he says, "either with P. or Q.; 
but I feel sure that the decided conviction of all who can see 
both sides of the shield must be, that it is more likely that P. 
has seen a ghost than that Q. knows he cannot have seen one." 

"I am perfectly convinced," he says, "that I have both seen 
and heard, in a manner which should make unbelief impossible, 
things called spiritual, which cannot be taken by a rational being 
to be capable of explanation by imposture, coincidence, or mis- 
take. So far I feel the ground firm under me. But when it 
comes to what is the cause of these phenomena, I find I cannot 
adopt any explanation which has yet been suggested. . . . 
Spirit or ho spirit, there is at least a reading of one mind by 
something out of that mind. . . . • 

"The Spiritualists, beyond a doubt, are in the track that has 
led to all advancement in physical science : their opponents are 
the representatives of those who have striven against prog- 
ress. ... 

" There is a higher class of obstructives who, without jest or 
sarcasm, bring up principles, possibilities, and the natur* of 



things. These most worthy and respectable opponents arc, if 
wrong, to be reckoned the lineal descendants of those who 
proved the earth could not be round, because the people on the 
other side would then tumble off. . . . 

" I have said that the deluded spirit-rappers are on the right 
track : they have the spirit and the method of the grand time 
when those paths were cut through the uncleared forest in which 
it is now the daily routine to walk. What was that spirit? It 
was the spirit of universal examination, wholly unchecked by 
fear of being detected in the examination of nonsense. . . . 

** I hold those persons to be incautious who give in at once to 
the spirit doctrine, and never stop to imagine the possibility of 
unknown power other than disembodied intelligence. But I am 
sure that this calling in of the departed spirit, because they do 
not know what else to fix it on, may be justified by those who 
do it, upon the example of the philosophers of our own 
day. ... 

" My state of mind, which refers the whole either to unseen 
intelligence, or something which man has never had any con- 
ception of, proves me to be out of the pale of the Royal 
Society. . . . 

"What I reprobate is, not the wariness which widens and 
lengthens inquiry, but the assumption which prevents or nar- 
rows it; the imposture theory, which frequently infers imposture 
from the assumed impossibility of the phenomena asserted, 
and then alleges imposture against the examination of the evi- 
dence. . . . 

" It is now [1863] twelve or thirteen years since the matter 
began to be everywhere talked about; during which time there 
have been many announcements of the total extinction of the 
spirit-mania. But in several cases, as in Tom Moore*s fable, 
the extinguishers have caught fire ** 

The late Daniel Davis, of Boston, well known as an electrical 
instrument-maker, was so thoroughly persuaded of the genuine- 
ness of the phenomena, as manifested in raps, movements of 
tablcAj &c., that^ after exhausting all his practical knowledge 

MR. VARLEY'S testimony. 


in testing them, he offered a reward of a thousand dollars to any 
one who would produce them independently of any medium. 
It is needless to say that his offer was never accepted. 

Another electrician, Mr. C. F. Varley, at the trial of the cele- 
brated case of Lyon versus Home, in London, April, 1868, made 
oath as follows : " I have been a student of electricity, chemistry, 
and natural philosophy, for twenty-six years, and a telegraphic 
engineer by profession, for twenty-one years ; and I am the con- 
sulting electrician of the Atlantic Telegraph Company, and of 
the Electric and International Company. 

"About nine or ten years ago, having had my attention 
directed to the subject of Spiritualism, by its spontaneous and 
unexpected development in my own family, in the form of 
clairvoyant visions and communications, I determined to test 
the truth of the alleged physical phenomena, to the best of my 
ability, and to ascertain, if possible, the nature of the force which 
produced them. 

"Accordingly, about eight years ago, I called on Mr. Home, 
and stated that I had not yet witnessed any of the physical 
phenomena, but that I was a scientific man, and wished to in- 
vestigate them carefully. 

" He immediately gave me every facility for the purpose, and 
desired me to satisfy myself in every possible way ; and I have 
been with him on divers occasions when the phenomena have 
occurred. I have examined and tested them with him and with 
others, under conditions of my own choice, under a bright light, 
and have made the most jealous and searching scrutiny. I have 
been since then, for seven months, in America, where the sub- 
ject attracts great attention and study, and where it is cultivated 
by some of the ablest men ; and having experimented with, and 
compared the forces with electricity and magnetism, and after 
having applied mechanical and mental tests, I entertained no 
doubt whatever that the manifestations which I have myself 
examined were not due to the operation of any of the recognized ^ 
physical laws of nature, and that there has been present on the 
occasions above mentioned some intelligence other than thsit oC 
the medium and observers." 


Mr. J. H. Simpson, another English electrician, the inventor 
of electrical apparatus, including one for printing at a distance 
by the telegraph, writes (1868) to ** Human Nature," a monthly 
magazine, published in London, as follows : "That the physical 
effects are, in Mr. Home's case, produced without aid from elec- 
tricity, ferro-magnetism, or apparatus of any kind, I am well 
satisfied. They are bond fide. Of that no one who witnesses 
them can have a doubt." He adds, however, "I believe that 
nine-tenths of the phenomena produced through Mr. Home will 
some day be shown to have nothing to do with aid lent by dis- 
embodied spirits." 

With regard to the one-tenth remaining, Mr. Simpson sug- 
gests no theory as to their origin. 

One of the earliest and most accomplished inquirers into these 
phenomena was William Martin Wilkinson, of 44, Lincoln's 
Inn Fields, London, Solicitor. He is a brother of the dis- 
tinguished J. Garth Wilkinson. In his affidavit (1868) in the 
Home case, already referred to, he says, — 

"Such phenomena have been carefully observed by several 
of the most powerful sovereigns of Europe, and by persons of 
eminence in the leading professions, and in literature and 
science, and by practical men of business, under conditions 
when any thing like fraud or contrivance was impossible. 
Various theories have been suggested, by way of explanation, 
connected with the abstrusest problems in biology and meta- 
physics. My own views on this subject are probably unim- 
portant; but as charges and insinuations are made against me, 
and the subject of Spiritualism is so misunderstood by the pub- 
lic, I have the right to say, that having had my attention drawn 
to certain remarkable occurrences, about eighteen years ago, in 
the house of a relative, and which continued for nearly twelve 
years, I have since that time occupied a portion of my leisure in 
.inquiring into the subject, and in arranging the various phe- 
nomena, and comparing them with historical statements of 
similar occurrences. 

" I have very seldom been at any siauees, and that not for 



many years, having entirely satisfied myself years ago of the ' 
truth of most of the phenomena. — that is, of their actual happen- 
ing; and I have at the same time and for many years formed 
and constantly expressed the opinion that it was wrong to be- 
lieve in, or act upon, what might appear to be communications 
from the unseen, on their own evidence merely. I have in- 
variably inculcated that no such communication should be re- 
ceived as of so much value as if it were told by a friend in this 
world, inasmuch as you know something of your friend here, 
and cannot know the identity or origin of the communicant. 

" I have frequently referred to the passage in the Old Testa- 
ment, in which it is said that God sent a lying spirit, and to the 
directions given us in the New Testament, to try or test the 
spirits. I have pursued the inquiry under great misrepresenta- 
tions and obloquy, and I intend to continue it as long as I can ; 
and I believe that the subjects of spiritual visions, trances, 
ecstasies, prophecies, angelic protection, and diabolic possession, 
anciently recorded, have already had light thrown upon them, 
and will have much more. I submit that I have a right to 
pursue an inquiry into psychological laws, without being sub- 
jected to ridicule or abuse, and that the proof of supernatural 
occurrences is valuable in both a scientific and religious point 
of view. The mere physical phenomena which the public 
erroneously fancies to be the whole of Spiritualism, and which, 
of course, afford room for spurious imitation and fraud, are in 
my belief the most unimportant part of the subject, and have not 
for years engaged my attention." 

Mr. G. H. Lewes, author of a "History of Philosophy," took 
part in the Tyndall-Home controversy, in a long letter, (May, 
1868), the burden of which was, that men of science were quite 
right to refuse to waste their valuable time in investigating the 
pretensions of mediums, and that ** had the tone of Faraday's 
letter been ten times more offensive, it would have been no 
excuse for Mr. Home's declining his investigation." 

Upon which the London *• Spiritual Magazine " remarks, " Let 
the matter as to examination be put on its right grouad\ tckccvOo^^ 


that scientific and literary men have the same opportunities of 
examination of the question as any one else, and that these 
opportunities are so open, easy, and common, that many mil- 
lions of people have already examined and satisfied themselves, 
many of them men of the highest science, learning, and ability. 
It would be stepping out of the way nojv to ask any scientific 
man in. We protest against conceited, and, on this question, 
profoundly ignorant men, treating it as some novelty just dis- 
covered in a corner^ because they wilfully keep themselves unin- 
formed of it. Spiritualism is a great fact, as much past the 
mere day of testing and proving as even the law of gravitation. 
When as many men and women have accepted it as would peo- 
ple Scotland several times over, it is surely ridiculous for such 
as Professor Tyndall and Mr. Lewes to ask for some scientific 
nob to settle the point for them. If he wishes, let the nob do it 
on his own account, or stand out of the ivay*^ 

We have said enough to show the attitude of science, past 
and present, with some honorable exceptions, towards the great 
facts re-asserted by modern Spiritualism. 

The reality of the alleged facts, supposed to be spiritual, must 
be tried by the same tests as any other class of alleged facts; 
that is, by testimony and experiment. It is believed that they 
have been so tried. Whether they are caused by spiritual agency 
is another and separate question ; and whether scientific men are 
the best qualified to decide this point may well admit of doubt. 
They have no instruments to lay hold of spirits; no chemical 
tests by which to detect their presence. Retorts and galvanic 
batteries are here of no avail. A simple woman, like Joan of 
Arc or the Seeress of Prevorst, may be the true expert here. 

The complaint is often made that science has outrun religious 
belief; that as men have acquired more knowledge, they have 
become more and more unsettled in their opinions as to their 
inner life, and in the existence even of the spiritual world. The 
facts of modern Spiritualism present themselves no sooner than 
they are needed to meet the want which this tendency has 



There has long been a vague notion that the discoveries of 
the age have so far enlightened men, that they are better quali- 
fied to form accurate opinions in regard to certain occult phe- 
nomena than were the great intellects of antiquity, or of three 
centuries since. Many persons quietly accept it as something 
not to be questioned, that such men as Pythagoras, Socrates, 
Plato, Plutarch, Origen, Augustine, Luther, Baxter, and Mather, 
were mere children, compared with the college professors of our 
own day, in their ability to judge of the genuineness of these 
phenomena. Because science has invented a few chemical tricks, 
. and has made great discoveries in electricity and magnetism, 
it is assumed that the ancients must have been more easily im- 
posed on than we, in regard to psychological marvels. There 
is no evidence whatever that such was the fact. 

The phenomena on which the ancients based their belief in 
gods or spirits, and the Blackstones and Glanvils their belief in 
witchcraft, were, with unimportant exceptions, experiences anal- 
ogous to those to which thousands of persons are now bearing 
testimony. Science has not made us one jot better able to dis- 
pute the genuineness of these phenomena than were the men of 
former ages. 

"We refuse," says a recent writer, "to believe assertions 
without evidence : we decline to reject testimony merely be- 
cause it vouches what is new or strange. It is not in the least 
impossible, it is not even improbable, it is probable, rea- 
soning from the past it is even certain, that real phenomena 
should reveal themselves totally inexplicable by any known law, 
apparently a violation 'of physical laws, perhaps new prin- 
ciples, pregnant with marvels to which the fictions of the past 
are prosaic. What Paul ever thought of making the sun paint? 
What Joseph or Elisha could ever converse with a friend three 
thousand miles across the ocean? Talk of prophecy! Why, 
Halley predicted the very day and minute of the appearance of 
a comet which was myriads of miles away at the time he died I 
There is no event better authenticated in history than Sweden- 
borg's vision of the great fire ©f Stockholm. The perfectly 



ascertained facts of mesmerism, clairvoyance, and electricity, 
prepare us to wait with reverence and candor upon the unfold- 
ing of such phenomena as are attested by Bell, Gully, and Col- 
lier ; and we shall never be ashamed to own, that as truth in all 
ages has owed very much more to credulity than to conceited 
Iskepticism and self-sufficient prejudice, so there is no phenom- 
/enon, however marvellous, that we should a priori reject as 
impossible, in the face of cognate facts, and accumulated, in- 
telligent, and unexceptionable testimony." 

It is the duty of Science to wait upon Nature, to reverently 
listen to what she chooses to tell, and in the way it pleases her 
to utter it, and deal with the facts that are manifested without 
ignoring them because others are not manifested. We must be 
glad to learn her lessons on the conditions she chooses to pre- 
scribe, thankful to accept such insight into her arcana as she 
vouchsafes to grant. 

We can readily understand why timid sectarians should de- 
nounce the investigation of these phenomena as dangerous ; but 
how, in this nineteenth century, a committee of intelligent 
gentlemen, renowned for their attainments in their respective 
departments of science, and whose province it was to consider 
the subject from a purely scientific stand-point, should think to 
frighten grown men and women from pursuing an inquiry into 
certain remarkable facts of nature, by raising the cry of " im- 
morality," and talking of their " solemn duty to warn the com- 
munity," &c., would indeed be astounding, did we not remember 
that history repeats itself, and that there were "professors" 
before the year of grace 1857 > even among those wise ones who 
denounced the researches and revelations of Copernicus and 
Galileo as immoral, pernicious, diabolical, tending " to lessen 
the truth of man and the pUrity of woman." 



"Thete is in nature nothing interpolated or without connection, as in a bad 
tragedy."— -<4rM/<7/&. 

TN the little village of Hydesville, Wayne County, New York, 
there stood, in 1847, a small house, which had been occupied 
by Mr. Michael Weekman.^ He had been troubled by certain rap- 
pings, of which he could give no explanation. But they at- 
tracted little attention, and may have had no connection with 
subsequent developments. It was reserved for the family of Mr. \ 
John D. Fox, of Rochester, a respectable farmer, to have their 
names inseparably associated with the first development of the 
modern spiritual movement, based on the phenomena now chal- 
lenging the regards of all thoughtful persons. 

Mr. Fox moved into the house the nth of December, 1847. 
His family consisted of himself, his wife, and six children; but 
only the two youngest were staying with them at the time of the 
manifestations, — Margaret, twelve years old, and Kate, nine 
years old. The former of these sisters subsequently became the 
wife of the celebrated Captain Kane, the Arctic explorer. 

From the first, the family were disturbed by noises in the 
hou3e; but these they attributed for a time to rats and mice. 
In January, 1848, however, the sounds became loud and start- 
ling. Knocks, so violent as to produce a tremulous motion in 
the furniture and floor, were heard. Occasionally there would 
be a patter of footsteps. The bed-clothes would be pulled off ; 
and Kate would feel a cold hand passed over her face. 



Throughout February, and to the middle of March, the dis- 
turbances increased. Chairs and the dining-table were moved 
from their places. Mr. and Mrs. Fox, night after night, with a 
lighted candle, explored the house, but in vain. While they 
stood close to the door, raps would be made on it ; and on their 
opening it no one would be found. 

On the night of March 31st, having been broken of their rest 
for several nights previous, they retired to bed earlier than usual, 
hoping to sleep without disturbance. The sounds, however, were 
resumed. They occurred near the bed occupied by Kate and 
Margaret. Kate attempted to .imitate the sounds by the snap- 
ping of her fingers. There was the same number of raps in re- 
sponse. She then said, " Now do as I do ; count one, two, three, 
four, five, six," at the same time striking her hands together. 
The same number of raps responded, at similar intervals. The 
mother of the girls then said, " Count ten I " and ten distinct 
raps were heard. " Count fifteen ! " and that number of sounds 
followed. She then said, "Tell us the age of Katie" (the 
youngest daughter), " by rapping one for each year; " and the 
number of years was rapped correctly. " How many children 
have I? " There were seven raps in reply. " Ah ! " she thought, 
" it can blunder sometimes." " Try again." Still the number 
of raps was seven. Mrs. Fox was surprised. " Are they all 
alive?" she asked. No answer. "How many are dead?" There 
was a single rap. She had lost one child. 

" Do as I do," said Kate Fox. Such was the commencement. 
" Who can tell," asks Owen, "where the end will be? " 

" A Yankee girl, but nine years old, following up, more in 
sport than earnest, a chance observation, became the instigator 
of a movement, which, whatever its true character, has had its 
influence throughout the civilized world. The spark had been 
several times ignited, — once, at least, two centuries ago ; but it 
had died out each time without effect. It kindled no flame till 
the middle of the nineteenth century." 

The instances here referred to are the answers by knocks 
elicited by Mr. Mompesson in 1661, and by Glanvil and the 
Wesley family. 



The Rev. Joseph Glanvil, chaplain in ordinary to Charles II., 
was a writer of great erudition and ability. In his " Sadducis- 
mus Triumphatus," written to show that the phenomena of 
witchcraft were genuine occurrences, he gives an account of Mr. 
Mompesson's haunted house atTedworth, where it was observed 
that, on beating or calling for any tune, it would be exactly 
answered by drumming. When asked by some one to give three 
knocks, if it were a certain spirit, it gave three knocks, and no 
more. Other questions were put, and answered by knocks 
exactly. Glanvil himself says, that, being told it would imitate 
noises, he scratched, on the sheet of the bed, five, then seven, 
then ten times; and it returned exactly the same number of 
scratches each time. 

Melancthon relates that at Oppenheim, in Germany, in 1620, 
the same experiment of rapping, and having the raps exactly 
answered by the spirit which haunted a house, was successfully, 
tried ; and he tells us that Luther was visited by a spirit who 
announced his coming by " a rapping at his door." 

In the famous Wesley case, the haunting of the house of John 
Wesley's father, the Parsonage at Epworth, Lincolnshire, in 
1716, for a period of two months, the supposed spirit used 
to imitate Mr. Wesley's knock at the gate. It responded to the 
Amen at prayers. Emily, one of the daughters, knocked ; and it 
answered her. Mr. Wesley knocked a stick on the joists of the 
kitchen ; and it knocked again, in number of strokes and in loud- 
ness exactly replying. When Mrs. Wesley stamped, it knocked 
in reply. 

It is not surprising that John JWesley was a Spiritualist. 
"With my latest breath," he writes, "will I bear my testimony 
against giving up to infidels one great proof of the invisible 
world ; I mean that of witchcraft, confirmed by the testimony of 
all ages." 

A writer in the " Encyclopaedia Metropolitana " (London, 
1861), referring to these and similar phenomena, observes: 
"It is, to say the least, a remarkable fact, that such occurrences 
are to be found in the histories of all ages, and, if inquiries are 



but sincerely made, in the traditions of nearly all living fami- 
lies. The writer can testify to several monitions of this kind 
portending death; and the authentic records of such things 
would make a volume." 

In the "Life of Frederica HaufF(6, the Seeress of Prevorst, by 
Dr. Justinus Kerner, chief physician at Weinsberg " (who died 
in 1859), alniost every phase of the recent spiritual phenomena 
is described as pertaining to her experience. To these more 
than twenty credible witnesses testify. They consisted in re- 
peated knockings, noises in the air, a tramping up and down 
stairs by day and night, the moving of ponderable articles, &c. 

But we must return to the experiences of the Fox family. 
Startled and somewhat alarmed by the manifestations of intelli- 
gence, Mrs. Fox asked if it was a human being that was making 
the noise, and, if it was, to manifest it by making the same noise. 
There was no sound. She then said, " If you are a spirit, make 
two distinct sounds." Two raps were accordingly heard. 

The members of the family by this time had all left their beds, 
and the house was again thoroughly searched, as it had been 
before, but without discovering any thing that could explain the 
mystery; and, after a few more questions and responses by raps, 
the neighbors were called in to assist in tracing the phenomenon 
to its cause. But the neighbors were no more successful than 
the family had been, and confessed themselves thoroughly con- 

For several subsequent days, the village was in a turmoil of 
excitement; and multitudes visited the house, heard the raps, 
and interrogated the apparent intelligence which controlled 
them, but without obtaining any clew to the discovery of the 
agent, further than its own persistent declaration that it was a 

About three weeks after these occurrences, David, a son of 
Mr. and Mrs. Fox, went alone into the cellar, where the raps 
were then being heard, and said, "If you are the spirit of a 
human being who once lived on the earth, can you rap to the 
letters that will spell your name? and if so, now rap three 



times." Three raps were promptly given, and David proceeded 
to call .the alphabet, writing down the letters as they were indi- 
cated ; and the result was the name, " Charles B. Rosma," a 
name quite unknown to the family, and which they were after- 
ward' unable to trace. The statement was in like manner' 
obtained from the invisible intelligence, that he was the spirit of 
a peddler, who had been murdered in that house some years pre- 
vious. According to Mr. David Fox, the floor was subsequently 
dug up, to the depth of more than five feet, when the remains 
of a human body were found. 

Soon after these occurrences, the family removed to Roches- 
ter, at which place the manifestations still accompanied them ;. 
and here it was discovered, by the rapping of the letters of the 
alphabet in the manner before described, that different spirits 
were apparently using this channel of communication; and 
that, in short, almost any one, in coming into the presence of ' 
the two girls, could get a comniunication from what purported " 
to be the spirits of his departed friends, the same often being 
accompanied by tests which satisfied the interrogator as to the 
spirits' identity. 

A new phenomenon was also observed in the frequent moving 
of tables and other ponderable bodies, without appreciable 
agency, in the presence of these two girls. These manifesta- 
tions, growing more and more remarkable, attracted numerous 
visitors, some from long distances ; and the phenomenon began, 
as it were, to propagate itself, and to be witnessed in other fami- 
lies in Rochester and vicinity ; while, as coincident therewith, 
susceptible persons would sometimes fall into apparent trances, 
and become clairvoyant, and re-affirm these raps and physical 
movements to be the production of spirits. 

In November, a public meeting was called ; and a committee 
appointed to examine into the phenomena. They reported that 
they were unable to trace the phenomena to any known mun- 
dane agency. Of course, the large majority of persons pro- 
nounced the whole thing an imposture; and the public press 
was against it, almost without an exception. There were stcyt^ftA 




that the Fox girls produced the sounds by their knees and toe- 
joints ; and one of their relations, a Mrs. Culver, declared that 
Kate Fox had told her how it was done. If the young and mis- 
chief-loving Kate had ever told her so, it must have been in 
sport; for Mrs. Culver's explanation was soon rejected as not 
covering the phenomena. 

The girls were subjected to the examination of a committee of 
ladies, who had them divested of their clothes, laid on pillows, 
and watched ; still the sounds took place on walls, doors, tables, 
ceilings, and at quite a distance from the mediums. 
^ We have before us a letter, received by us, dated Rochester, 
N.Y., Feb. i6, 1850. It is from the pen of a friend, an English 
gentleman of high culture, who, at our request, availed himself 
of a brief stay in Rochester to look into the subject of the mys- 
terious knockings. He made two calls on the Misses Fox, to 
hear the rappings, and wrote us as follows in regard to them : — 

"My opinion of the rappings is that they are human, very 
human, sinfully human, made to get money by. If really there 
is a ghost in the matter, then quite certainly he is very fickle, 
something of a liar, very clumsy, very trifling, and altogether 
wanting in good taste. It would indeed be painful to me, ex- 
ceedingly, if I thought that any man on this earth, on dying, 
had ever turned into such a paltry, contemptible ghost. 

" Yet at a distance from this place, as I understand, there are 
men affecting philosophy, and even a skeptical philosophy, who 
are ready to believe, and who do believe, that these Rochester 
knockings are a spirit. A very ridiculous spirit! An untrue 
ghost, a very pretending ghost! a ghost of no reverence or awe 
whatever ! Indeed, a ghost that is no ghost at all ! 

" Here, now, I have written what will satisfy your curiosity 
about this absurd business. My experience in it will be useful 
to me, in regard to superstition as a disease of the human mind. 
I have learned something from the errand I have been on. Bui 
to me the knockings themselves are not nearly so wonderful as the 
echoes they make in the city of New York." 

The gentleman who wrote this letter subsequently made a very 



careful investigation of the phenomena, as manifested through 
the mediumship of the late G. A. Redman, and became fuller 
convinced of their genuineness. He accepted the spiritual hy- 
pothesis as to their origin, and is now (1868) — after years of 
examination and reflection, both in this country and in Europe — 
an unwavering believer,* and one who can give solid reasons for 
his belief; thus justifying that remark of Novalis, who says, 
"To become properly acquainted with a truth, we must first 
have disbelieved it, and disputed against it." 

It was soon found that the marvellous phenomen% could be 
produced through numerous persons of either sex. Mediums 
for the manifestations began to spring up on all sides ; and, as a 
matter of course, spurious phenomena began to be mixed with 
the genuine. 

The raps were soon superseded by more astonishing and in- 
explicable experiences. Tables, chairs, and other furniture 
would be moved about, raised from the floor, and, in some cases, 
so powerfully, that six full-grown men have been known to be 
cftrried about a room on a table, the feet of which did not 
touch the floor, and which no other person touched. Hand- 
bells would be rung, guitars floated about the room and played 
on, tambourines played on, and moved about with marvellous 
force; and at last spirit-hands would be both seen and felt. 
Although these phenomena would be generally produced in the 
dark, there were enough of them produced in the light to satisfy 
inquirers that the effects were not imaginary or spurious. 

Mediums were developed with various powers. There rapidly 
sprang into notice musical, writing, speaking, drawing, and 
healing mediums. The press and the pulpit sneered and ful- 
minated; but the work went on with amazing celerity, until 
millions were not ashamed to admit their belief in the phe- 

At the rooms of J. Koon, Athens County, Ohio, in February, 

• See on page 125, of this volume, an account, from his pen, of certain phe- 
nomena for which Miss Lord was the medium, which he witnessed in our company the 
latter part of the year i860. 



1854, musical instruments were played on with astonishing force. 
Five witnesses, whose names are published, * testify to seeing 
spirit-hands on these occasions. They say, "They [the spirits] 
beat a march on the drum, and carried the tambourine all around 
over our heads, playing on it the while. They then dropped it 
on the table, took the triangle from the wall, and carried it all 
arbunc, as they did the other instruments, for some time. We 
could only hear the dull sound of the steel ; then would peal 
forth the full ring of the instrument. They let this fall on the 
table also. ^ After this, they spoke through the trumpet to all, 
stating that they were glad to see them. Then they went to a 
gentleman who was playing on the violin, and took it out of his 
hand up into the air, all around, thrumming the strings, and 
playing as well as mortals can do. They played on the trumpet, 
then took the harp, and played on both instruments ; and, at the 
same time, sang with four voices, sounding like female voices, 
which made the room swell with melody. 

" After this, they made their hands visible again, took paper, 
brought it out on the other table, and commenced writing slowly^ 
when one of the visitors asked them if they could not write 
faster : the hand then moved so fast we could hardl3' see it go ; 
but all could hear the pencil move over the paper for some five 
minutes or so. When done, the spirit took up the trumpet and 
spoke, saying the communication was for friend ' Pierce ; and, at 
the same time, the hand came up to him, and gave the paper 
into his hand. Now, said the spirit, if friend Pierce would put 
his hand on the table, they would shake hands with him for a 
testimony to the world, as he could do much good with such a 
fact while on his spiritual mission. He then put his hand on 
the table by their request ; the hand came up to him, took his 
fingers, and shook them. Then it went away, but soon came 
back, patted his hand some minutes, then left again. Now it 
came back the third time ; and, taking his whole hand for some 

* D. Hasteler, Pittsburg; A. P. Pierce, Philadelphia; H. F. Partridge, Wheeling, 
Va. ; Lewis Dugdale, farmer, Ohio ; Charles C. Stillman, Marion, Ohio. 



five minutes, he examined it all over, and found it as natural as 
a human hand, even to the nails on the fingers. He traced the 
hand up as far as the wrist, and found nothing any further than 
that point." 

Having, on some forty occasions, witnessed phenomena analo- 
gous to these, and quite as remarkable, we cannot doubt that 
this account is scrupulously true, so far as the fucts are con- 

We have already had something to say of the Davenport 
Brothers. In 1846, their family in Buff'alo were disturbed by 
what they described as " raps, thumps, loud noises, snaps, 
cracking noises in the dead of night." In 1850, having read in 
the newspapers of the Rochester knockings, they sat round a 
table with their hands upon it, and waited further developments. 
These began by knockings and other noises, and table-tippings. 
Soon, the alphabet was called into use ; thfti, through the hand 
of Ira, the elder boy, messages were written by an invisible 
scribe; a nd Ira was "fl oated inth e air ove r the hea ds-oL^ tbe- 
pe ople, and from one end oT the room to the othe r, at a heig ht^ 
of nine feet from the floor, every person in the ro om having the 
opportunity of seeing him as he floated in the air above themT* 
To add to the wonder, William and Elizabeth (a sister) were 
also upborne ; and other marvels took place. 

On the fifth evening of their proceedings (according to Dr. 
Nichols), " in compliance with a direction rapped out on the 
table by the now familiar method of calling over the alphabet, a 
pistol was procured, and capped, but not loaded. One of the 
boys was then directed to go to a vacant corner of the room and 
fire it. At the instant that he fired, the pistol was taken froni 
his hand ; and, by its fiash, it was plainly seen, by every person 
in the room, held by a human figure, looking smilingly at the 
company. The light and the form vanished together, as when 
we see a landscape in a flash of lightning; and the pistol fell 
upon the floor." 

Under the directions of supposed spirits, the brothers were 
tied with all sorts of complicated knots, and then released in aa 



inexplicably brief space of time. The news of what was taking 
place soon spread ; and many eager inquirers came to the house. 
Such was the curiosity, that public exhibitions were given. The 
fact that the phenomena were produced for the most part in the 
dar't, naturally gave rise to suspicion and dispute. 

In the year 1868, at the Cleveland Convention of Spiritualists, 
a leport was adopted, reprobating what were called "the dark 
circle impostors, who pretend to do physical impossibilities, 
claiming that spirits do them, while they give no proof of what 
they assert." " After a diligent and careful investigation of the 
subject," says the report, "we are irresistibly forced to the con- 
clusion that darkness is not a necessary condition for physical 
manifestations; but that it m a condition assumed and insisted 
upon by tricksters, having no other use than to afford oppor- 
tunities for deception." 

These remarks ar^ likely to mislead. They appear to be aimed 
principally at the class of manifestations for which the Daven- 
ports are celebrated. That the most remarkable of the manifes- 
tations produced in the dark have been produced in the light, 
will not be disputed ; but it does not follow from this that dark- 
ness may not sometimes be more favorable to their production. 
Darkness, it is true, may offer more opportunity for fraud ; but 
a little more trouble taken will soon satisfy the patient inves- 
tigator. We do not doubt that genuine mediums are often 
tempted to "help on" the phenomena. But careful observers 
do not find it difficult to separate the true from the simulated. 
We must not expect to find all mediums persons of scrupulous 

The Davenports were mere boys when they commeYiced their 
exhibitions ; and it would not be surprising, if sometimes, impa- 
tient of the capriciousness or slowness of " the spirits," they tried 
to make them " hurry up," by some boyish acts that may prop- 
erly be denounced as tricks. Indeed, Dr. John F. Gray, of New 
York, well known to American Spiritualists as identified from 
the first with the cause, and a thoroughly impartial, independent 
investigator, wrote us, under date of New York, June 7, 1864, as 
follows : — 



" I have not seen the Davenports this time here ; but I enter- ' 
tain no doubt of the genuineness of the manifestations made in 
their presence. When they were here some years ago, they 
were detected in making spurious manifestations when the 
genuine failed." 

Surely the testimony of careful, scientific investigators, like Dr. 
Gray, thoroughly prepared against fraud, and anticipating it, is 
worth something in a case like this. 

Dr. Loomis, professor of chemistry in the Medical College, 
Georgetown, has given a minute account of his investigations 
into the phenomena produced through the Davenports. His 
testimony will carry the more weight with the skeptic, when it is 
known that he does- not admit the spiritual hypothesis, but at- 
tributes the thaumaturgic occurrences to some new, unknown 
force. From Dr. Loomis's report, we extract enough to indicate 
the thoroughness of his investigation, and the character of his 
conclusions : — 

"At one end of Willard's Hall is a large platform about fifteen 
feet square, and three feet from the floor, carpeted. At the back 
side of this platform, resting on three horses, about eighteen 
inches high, with four leg^s, each one inch in diameter, was a 
box or cabinet, in which the phenomena occurred. 

*' I find the box seems to be made for two purposes only, ist, 
to exclude the light ; and 2d, to be easily taken apart and packed 
in a small space for transportation. It is made of black walnut 
boards, from one-fourth to one-h^lf of an inch in thickness. 
The boards are mostly united by hooks and hinges, so as to be 
taken apart and folded up. The "box is about seven feet high, 
six feet wide, and two feet deep ; and the back v^as one inch in 
front of the brick wall of the building. It has three doors, each 
two feet wide and as high as the box ; so that when the doors are 
open the entire interior of the box is exposed to the audience. 

"Across each end and along the back are boards about ten 
inches wide, arranged for seats, firmly attached to the box. 
These are one-half inch walnut boards. At the middle and near 
the back edge of each of these seats are two half-inch hole8^ 



through which ropes may be passed for the purpose of tying the 
boys firmly to their seats. The entire structure is so light and 
frail as to utterly preclude the idea that any thing whatever could 
be concealed within or about its several parts, by which any aid 
could be given in producing the phenomena witnessed. The 
top and bottom of the box are of the same thin material, and not 
tongued and grooved; so that the joints were all open. The 
floor was carpeted with a loose piece of carpet, which was taken 
out. The entire inside of the box was literally covered with 
bruises and dents, from mere scratches to those of an eighth of 
an inch deep. I examined the box thoroughly in all its parts, 
and am satisfied that there was nothing concealed in it ; nor was 
there any way by which any thing could be-introduced into it to 
aid in producing the phenomena. The phenomena exhibited 
may be divided into several classes. 

"a. Before the performance commenced, the audience chose a 
committee of three, of which I was one. The other two were 
strangers to each other and to myself. I never saw them before 
that evening, have never seen them since, and do not know their 
names. One of the committee — a stout, muscular man, over 
six feet in height, professionally a sea-captain, and who re- 
marked to me as he was performing the operation, that he had 
pinioned many prisoners — tied one of the boys in the following 
manner: viz., a strong hemp rope was passed three times round 
the wrist, and tied. It was then passed three times round the 
other wrist, and tied again, the hands being behind the back. 
The rope was then passed twice around the body, and tied in 
front as tightly as possible. Before this was completed, the 
wrists had commenced swelling, so that the flesh between the 
cords WAS even with their outer surface, the hands puffed with 
blood and quite cool. The circulation was almost completely 
stopped in the wrists. 

"The boy complained of pain, and said, *Tie the rope as you 
wish ; but I cannot stand it. I am in your power ; but you must 
loosen the rope.' I remarked to the captain that it was cruel to 
let the rope remain so tight as it was, that security could be 



gained without being unnecessarily cruel. We examined hit 
wrists again ; and the captain decided not to loosen the rope. 
The whole work of tying the boy was closely watched hy^me 
during the entire progress, and thoroughly examined when 
done ; and I must say that very little feeling was exhibited foi 
the boy. No human being could be bound so tightly without 
suffering excruciating pain. His hands were released in about 
fifteen minutes. I then examined his wrists carefully. Every 
fibre of the rope had made its imprint on the wrists. I examined 
them a second time, one hour and thirty minutes after; and the 
marks of the rope were plainly visible. He was pinioned as 
tightly around the body. After being thus tied by his hands, 
he was seated at one end of the box; and a second rope being 
passed around his wrists, was drawn both ends through the 
holes in the seat, and firmly tied underneath. His legs were 
tied in a similar manner, so that movement of his body was al- 
most impossible. All the knots were a peculiar kind of sailor 
knots, and entirely beyond reach of the boy's hands or mouth. 

" The other Davenport boy was tied in a similar way by an- 
other member of the committee. After being tied, 1 carefully 
examined every knot, and particularly noticed the method in 
which he was bound. The knots were all beyond the reach of 
his hands or mouth. He was as securely bound as the other, 
the only difference being that the ropes were not as tight around 
the wrists. This one, as the other, was tied to his seat; the 
ropes being passed through the holes, and tied underneath to 
the ropes attached to his legs. Thus fastened, one at one end 
of the box and one at the other, they were beyond each other's 

" Thus far I was perfectly satisfied of three things, ist. There 
was in the box no person except the boys, bound as above de- 
scribed ; 2d, It was physically impossible for the boys to liberate 
themselves; 3d, There was introduced into the box nothing 
whatever besides the boys, and the ropes with which they were 

"These being the conditions, the right-hand door was glosed\ 


then the left-hand door; and finally the middle door was 
closed. At the same time the gas-lights were lowered, so that 
it was twilight in the room. Within ten seconds, two hands 
were seen by the committee and by the audience, at an opening 
near the top of the middle door; and, one minute after, the 
doors opened of their own accord, and the boy bound so tightly 
walked out unbound, the ropes lying on the floor, every knot 
being untied. The other boy had not been released ; and a care- 
ful examination showed every knot and every rope to be in the 
precise place in which the committee left it. 

"The doors being closed as before, with nothing in the box 
besides one of the boys, bound as described, hand and foot, with 
all the knots beyond the reach of his hands or mouth, in less 
than one minute they opened without visible cause; and the 
boy walked out unbound, every knot being untied. 

" b. The box being again carefully examined, and found to 
contain nothing but the seats, the boys were placed in them 
unbound, one seated at one end and one at another. Be- 
tween them on the floor was thrown a large bundle of ropes. 
The doors were then closed. In less than two minutes, they 
opened as before ; and the boys were bound hand and foot in 
their seats. The committee examined the knots and the ar- 
rangements of the ropes, and declared them more securely 
bound than when they had tied them themselves. I then made 
a careful examination of the manner in which they were tied, 
and found as follows : viz., a rope was tightly passed around 
each wrist and tied, the hands being behind the back; the ends 
were then drawn through the holes in the seat, and tied under- 
neath, drawing the hands firmly down on the seat. A second 
rope was passed several times around both legs and firmly tied, 
binding the legs together. A third rope was tied to the legs and 
then fastened to the middle of the back side of the box. A 
fourth rope was also attached to the legs and drawn backward, 
and tied to the ropes underneath the seat, which bound the 
hands. This last rope was so tightened as to take the slack out 
of the others. Every rope was tight ; and no movement of the 



body could make any rope slacken. They were tied precisely 
alike. I also examined the precise points where the ropes 
passed over the wrists, measuring from the processes of ^the 
radial, ulnar, and metacarpal bones. I also carefully ar- 
ranged the ends of the ropes in a peculiar manner. This 
arrangement was out of reach and out of sight of the boys, 
and unknown to any one but myself. The examination being 
ended, the following facts were apparent: ist, There was 
no one in the box with the boys; 2d, There was no thing 
in the box with the boys except the ropes; 3d, It was physi-' 
cally impossible for the boys to have tied themselves, every one 
of the knots being beyond the reach of their hands or mouths, 
and the boys being four feet apart ; 4th, The time elapsing from 
the closing of the doors to their opening — less than two minutes 
by the watch — was altogether too short for any known physical 
power to have tied the ropes as they were tied. 

** c. The boys being tied in this manner, one of the committee 
was requested to shut the doors. He stepped forward, closed 
the right-hand door, also the left-hand door, and was about 
closing the middle door, when two hands came out of the box, 
one of which hit him a severe blow on the right shoulder. The 
committee-man was partly in the box and felt the blow, but did 
"not know what struck him. He immediately threw open the 
doors; but nothing could be found but the boys, tied as before. 
I carefully re-examined the positions of the ropes, and found 
them as I had left them. The hands were seen by the audience 
distinctly. The lights had not been turned down ; and the hands 
were seen in the plain gas-light, and remained in sight several 
seconds. Having satisfied myself of the reality of the hands, 
having seen the blow given by one of them, which was sufficient 
to turn the committee-man partly round, I examined them with 
reference to their position in relation to the boys anatomically 
considered. The middle door had not been closed, and the 
committee-man had not left the box ; both boys were firmly tied 
to their seats, and the gas was fully lighted. The hand that 
appeared to the left of the committee-man might have been.^ so 



far as position and anatomical relation were concerned, the right 
hand of the boy at the left side of the box; but the hand that 
struck the man could not have belonged to either boy. • It was 
more than four feet from either one, and at least two feet high ; 
and, had either boy been sufficiently near, it must have been a 
right hand on a left arm. 

" d. The box was then carefully examined again ; and noth- 
ing could be found except the boys, bound as described before. 
There were then placed on the floor, between the boys, a bell, 
a violin, a guitar, a tambourine, and a trumpet. This being 
done, the left door was closed, then the right door ; and, ai the 
committee-man was closing the middle door, the brass trumpet, 
weighing about two pounds, jumped up from the floor, struck 
the top of the box with great force, and fell out on the -floor. 
This took place while the committee-man stood facing the box. 
The door was wide open ; and the committee-man stood $)artly 
in the box. The boys were again carefully examined, and found 
to be tied as at first. I examined the ropes that I had carefully 
and privately arranged, as before described, and found them as 
I had left them. 

"e. The trumpet was placed back, and all the doors closed. 
Within ten seconds the violin was tuned and began to play ; at 
the same time the guitar, tambourine, and bell began to play, 
all joining in the same tune. Part of the time the bell was 
thrust out of the window in the upper part of the middle door, 
by an arm, and played in sight of the audience. While the 
music was being made, there were a multitude of raps, both light 
and heavy, on all parts of the box. The first tune was played 
and repeated ; and a few seconds of comparative quiet followed, 
broken only by the instruments jumping about the box, and a 
few raps. Soon a second tune was begun, in which all the in- 
struments joined as before. In the midst of this tune, the doors 
suddenly opened themselves ; and the instruments tumbled about, 
some one way, some another ; and part fell out on the floor. The 
time between the stopping of the music and the opening of the 
door was not a single second. I went at once to the box and 



found both boys bound, hand and foot, as I had left them. I 
examined the ropes particularly about the wrists, and found 
them in the precise position in which I had left them, measuring 
from the processes of the radial, ulnar, and metacarpal bones. 
I also found the ends of the ropes under the seats, which I had, 
as previously described, privately arranged in a peculiar man- 
ner, in precisely the same position as I had left them." 

The late Professor Mapes, well known for his scientific attain- 
ments, described an exhibition witnessed by him through the 
Davenport Boys. These boys permitted themselves to be bound 
by cords, hand and foot, in any way the operator pleased ; and 
in an instant they were liberated by the supposed spirits. The 
spirit of one Tohn King claimed to be the chief actor of their 
band. With this spirit Professor Mapes said he conversed for 
half an hour. The voice was loud and distinct, spoken through 
a trumpet. He shook hands with him, the spirit giving a most 
powerful grasp ; then taking his hand again, it was increased in 
size and covered 'with hair. The professor said he went, accom- 
panied only by his friends, among whom were Dr. Warren and 
Dr. Wilson. They had a jocular sort of evening, into which 
King entered heartily, and at length played them a trick, for 
which they were not prepared, and which rather astonished 
them. Their hats and caps were suddenly whisked from their 
heads, and replaced in an instant. Turning o;i the lights, they 
found each hat and cap was turned inside out; and it took many 
minutes to replace them. Dr. Warren*s gloves, which were in 
his hat, were also turned completely inside out. This exhibi- 
tion took place in a large club-room at Buffalo, selected by the 
professor and his party, having but one place of entrance and 
exit. The boys sat on an elevated platform at a large table; 
and this table, in an instant of time, was carried over the heads 
of the auditors, and deposited at the most distant part of this 
large room. 

It is unnecessary to multiply descriptions of the phenomena. 
After giving exhibitions in the principal cities of the United 
States, in the latter part of 1864, the Davenport Brothers went 



to England. Here their reception was of rather a mixed char- 
acter. By some they were denounced or mobbed ; by others they 
were treated with the attention which was due to the extraor- 
dinary manifestations produced in their presence. They were 
accompanied by Mr. William Fay, himself the medium for some 
inexplicable specimens of modern thaumaturgy. 

Captain Richard F. Burton, the African traveller, in a letter, 
dated Nov. lo, 1864, gives a detailed description of a sitting with 
the brothers at his own lodgings. He says, "Mr. Fay*s coat^ 
was removed whilst he was securely fastened, hand and foot; 
and a lucifer match was struck at the same instant, showing us 
the two gentlemen fast bound, and the coat in the air on its way 
to* the other side of the room. Under precisely similar circum- 
stances, the coat of another gentleman present was placed upon 

" I have spent a g^reat part of my life in Oriental lands, and 
have seen there many magicians. Lately, I have been permitted 
to see and be present at the performances of Messrs. Anderson 
and Tolmaque. The latter showed, as they profess, clever con- 
juring; but they do not even attempt what the Messrs. Daven- 
port and Fay succeed in doing, — for instance, the beautiful man- 
agement of the musical instruments. Finally, I have read and 
listened to every explanation of the Davenport * tricks' hitherto 
placed before the English public ; and, believe me, if any thing 
would make me take that tremendous jump *from matter to 
spirit,* it is the utter and complete unreason of the reasons by 
which the manifestations are explained." 

In France the Davenports were well received by the emperor ; 
but a great clamor was raised against them by the press, an^ the 
unbelievers generally. Two experts, however, in the art of 
legerdemain, in Paris, — namely, M. Hamilton, a professor of the 
art, and M. Rhys, a manufacturer of conjuring implements, — 
fully exonerated, in published letters, the brothers from all sus- 
picion of trick. M. Rhys is the maker of all the articles used by 
the well-known Robert Houdin, who is himself the inventor and 
originator of almost the whole of the tricks performed by the 



less accomplished jugglers, and who declared some time since 
that nothing in the magic art could account for the so-called 
spiritual phenomena which he had witnessed. The letters al- 
luded to were published in the " Gazette des Etrangers " in Paris, 
on the 27th of September, 1865, and are as follows : — 

" Messrs. Davenport, — Yesterday I had the pleasure of being 
present at the stance you gave ; and I came away from it con- 
vinced that jealousy alone was the cause of the outcry raised 
against you. The phenomena produced surpassed my expecta- 
tions ; and your experiments were full of interest for me. I con- 
sider it my duty to add that those phenomena are inexplicable, 
and the more so by such persons as have thought themselves 
able to guess your supposed secret, and who are, in fact, far 
indeed from having discovered the truth. Hamilton." 

"Messrs. Davenport, — I have returned from one of your 
sdances quite astonished. Like all other persons, I was admitted 
to examine your cabinet and instruments. I went through that 
examination with the greatest care, but failed to discover any 
thing that could justify legitimate suspicions. From that mo- 
ment, I felt that the insinuations cast about' you were but false 
and malevolent. I must also declare that, your cabinet being 
completely isolated, all participation in the manifestation of 
your phenomena by strangers is absolutely impossible ; that the 
knots are made by persons selected indiscriminately, and that 
the public has been admitted to watch them; and I shall add 
that, under these conditions, no one has ever yet produced any 
thing similar to the phenomena I witnessed. Rhys." 

The Davenports met with great success in Belgium, where the 
press treated them with unwonted candor and fairness. In St. 
Petersburg, they gave private siances before the emperor and 
the nobility, and were received with much attention. 

On the nth of April, 1868, they re-appeared in London, and 
drew a crowded audience. Their powers had not diminished. 
A gentleman who was present writes, "In the cabinet exhibi- 



tion, hands, life-like in form and texture, were frequently seen 
before the doors were closed ; and from the aperture two long, 
naked, femininely formed arms, and also a group of not less than 
five hands of various sizes, were protruded at the same instant." 

Mr. Benjamin Coleman, of London, a gentleman personally 
known to us, and who has been an indefatigable investigator of 
the phenomena for many years, writes, under date of May, 1868, 
of the Messrs. Davenport and Mr. William Fay, "I desire to 
convey to those of my friends in America, who introduced them 
to me, the assurance of my conviction that the Brothers' mission 
to Europe has been of great service to Spiritualism. ... I have 
had no reason whatever to change my opinion of the genuine 
and marvellous character of their mediumship, which is entirely 
free from the imputation of trickery and bad faith of any kind." 

Mr. Robert Cooper, of London, a sincere and disinterested 
investigator, and who accompanied the Davenports to Ireland, 
Scotland, Belgium, and Germany, solely in the pursuit of truth, 
writes as follows: "I have been intimately associated with the 
Davenports for seven months. I have witnessed the manifesta- 
tions under a variety of circumstances, — in the dark and in the 
light, in public and in private, — and I have never seen any in- 
dication whatever of the slightest approach to trickery. On the 
contrary, I have seen much to convince me of the absence of 
any thing of the kind. For instance, I have seen lights struck, 
contrary to regulations, when the instruments were sounding 
and floating in the air; but no one was discovered out of his 
place, the only result being the falling of the guitars to the 

"At Brussels, at a stance before the first literary society of the 
town, blue paint was placed on the instruments unknown to 
any of us; but, though the instruments were all played on, uo 
trace of the paint was found on the hands of the brothers. At 
Antwerp, at the conclusion of the cabinet sdance, a gentleman 
exhibited his hand covered with some black composition of a 
greasy nature. He said he had caught hold of the hands that 
appeared at the cabinet window, and fully expected, when the 



Davenports came from the cabinet, to find their hands blackened, 
but, to his great surprise, such was not the case. I have also 
known black composition placed on the hands of the brothers 
during the dark sdance, with the idea that the instruments would 
show traces of the pigment; but such was not the case. None 
of our party knew of these experiments being made till the ter- 
mination of the sdances." 

Mr. Cooper has heard the " spirits " speak in an audible voice, 
and has held long conversations with them. He says, "It is 
obviously impossible for any one to be with the Davenports, as 
I have been, and not discover fraud, if any existed. I could 
multiply proofs in favor of the genuineness of these manifesta- 
tions. If they are not a reality, then all creation is a myth, and 
our senses are nothing worth." 

The occurrences in the family of the Rev. Dr. Phelps, of Strat- 
ford, Conn., which took place not long after the manifestations 
through the Fox family (1848-9), are of a character strictly 
analogous to those that were established as true, so far as 
human testimony can establish any thing, in the days of witch- 

For seven months, the phenomena were of the most unac- 
countable character. We took the pains to write to Dr. Phelps 
at the time, and have from him a letter confirming the facts in 
every particular. On returning one day from church, the family 
found the doors of rooms, which had been carefully locked, all 
thrown open ; and the furniture tossed about in the utmost con- 
fusion. In one room were from eight to ten figures formed with 
articles of clothing, and arranged with singular skill. They 
were all kneeling, and each with an open Bible before it, as if in 
mockery of their own church-going. Nothing was missing. The 
family locked the door of this room, but only to find, on open- 
ing it again, the number of figures increased, and that with 
articles of dress which three minutes before they had seen in 
other {Virts of the house. Heavy tables were lifted up and let 
down again, strange noises were heard; and a boy of eleven 
years of • age was lifted up and carried across the room. His 




clothes were carried away, and only discovered after a long and 
patient search. He was sent from home to a distant school, 
but had to be recalled, as his clothes there were cut to pieces 
repeatedly in a most extraordinary manner. The panes in the 
windows used to fly to pieces as Dr. Phelps and others stood 
looking at them. 

In his letter, Dr. Phelps writes, "I have seen things in motion 
above a thousand times; and, in most cases, where no visible 
power existed by which the motion could be produced. There 
have been broken from my windows more than seventy-one 
panes of glass, more than thirty of which I have seen broken 
before my own eyes." 

About the year 1850, the Hon. James F. Simmons, of Rhode 
Island, a well-known member of the United-States Senate, was 
the witness of some remarkable phenomena. In the autumn of 
1852, Mr. Horace Greeley,* editor of the "New-York Tribune," 
received a letter which he published in his paper, with the fol- 
lowing introduction: "The writer has received the following 
letter from Mrs. Sarah H. Whitman, in reply to one of inquiry 
from him as to her own experience in * Spiritualism,' and espe- 
cially with regard to a remarkable * experience,' currently re- 
ported as having occurred to Hon. James F. Simmons, late 
United-States Senator from Rhode Island, and widely known as 
one of the keenest and clearest observers, most unlikely to be 

• In his "Recollections of a Busy Life" (i868), Mr. Greeley admits that "the 
jugglery hypothesis utterly fails to account for occurrences which I have personally 
witnessed," and that "certain developments strongly indicate that they do proceed 
from departed spirits." But he complains that nothing of any value is obtained by 
the investigation; that the spirits "did not help to fish up the Atlantic cable nor 
find Sir John Franklin ; " that Spiritualism has not made the body of believers " bet- 
ter men and women." Much the same kind of objection might be brought against 
the Copemican theory of ihe universe. Mr. Greeley admits that the phenomena may 
enable us "to answer with more confidence that old momentous question, If a man 
die, shall he live again?" Did it never occur to Mr. G. that this is something ; a 
trifle, perhaps, compared with fishing up an old cable, but still something?* We fear 
that Mr. G.'s life has been too "busy" to enable him to give to these matters the 
reflection they require. 



the dupe of mystery or the slave of hallucination. Mrs. Whit- 
man's social and intellectual eminence are not so widely known ; 
but there are very many who know that her statement needs no 
confirmation whatever." Here is her letter ; — 

"Dear Sir, — I have had no conversation with Mr. Simmons 
on the subject of your note until to-day. I took an early oppor- 
tunity of acquainting him with its contents ; and this morning \ 
he called on me to say that he was perfectly willing to impart to 
you the particulars of his experience in relation to the myste- 
rious writing performed under his very eyes, in broad daylight^ 
by an invisible agent, 

"In the fall of 1850, several messages were telegraphed to \ 
Mrs. Simmons through the electric sounds, purporting to come 
from her step-son, James D. Simmons, who died some weeks 
before in California. The messages were calculated to stimu- 
late curiosity, and lead to an observation of the phenomena. 
Mrs. Simmons, having heard that messages in the handwriting 
of deceased persons were sometimes written through the same 
medium, asked if her son would give her this evidence. She 
was informed, through the sounds, that the attempt should be 
made, and was directed to place a slip of paper in a certain 
drawer at the house of the medium, and to lay beside it her own 
pencil, which had been given her by the deceased. Weeks 
passed ; and, although frequent inquiries were made, no writing 
was found on the paper. 

" Mrs. Simmons happening to call at the house one day, ac- 
companied by her husband, made the usual inquiry and received 
the usual answer. The drawer had been opened not two hours 
before, and nothing was seen in it but the pencil lying on the 
blank paper. At the suggestion of Mrs. Simmons, however, 
another investigation was made ; and on the paper were found a 
few pencil lines, resembling the handwriting of the deceased, 
but not so closely as to satisfy the mother's doubts. Mrs. Sim- 
mons handed the paper to her husband : he thought there was a 
slight resemblance, but would probably not have remarked it 



had the writing been casually presented to him. Had the signa- 
ture been given him, he should at once have decided on the 
resemblance. He proposed, if the spirit of his son were indeed 
present, as alphabetical communications received through the 
sounds affirmed him to be, that he should, then and there, affix 
his signature to the suspicious document. 

"In order to facilitate the operation, Mrs. Simmons placed 
the closed points of a pair of scissors in the hand of the medium 
and dropped her pencil through one of the rings or bows, the 
paper being placed beneath. The hand presently began to trem- 
ble ; and it was with difficulty it could retain its hold of the scis- 
sors. Mr. Simmons then took the scissors into his own hand, 
and dropped the pencil through the ring. It could not readily 
be sustained in this position. After a few moments, however, it 
stood as if firmly poised and perfectly still. It then began slowly 
to move, Mr. Simmons saw the letters traced beneath his eyes. 
The words, James D. Simmons, were distinctly and deliberately 
written ; and the handwriting was a facsimile of his son^s sig- 

"But what Mr. Simmons regards as the most astonishing part 
of this seeming miracle is yet to be told. Bending down to 
scrutinize the writing more closely, he observed, just as the last 
word was finished, that the top of the pencil leaned to the right. 
He thought it was about to slide through the ring ; but, to his 
infinite surprise, he saw the point slide slowly back along the 
word * Simmons,* till it rested over the letter i, when it imprinted 
a dot. This was a punctilio utterly unthought of by him. He 
had not noticed the omission, and was therefore entirely unpre- 
pared for the amendment. He suggested the experiment, and 
he thinks it had kept pace only with his will or desire. But how 
will those who deny the agency of disembodied spirits in these 
marvels, ascribing all to the unassisted powers of the human 
will, or to the blind action of electricity, — how will they dispose 
of this last significant and curious fact? 

"The only peculiarity observable in the writing was that the 
lines seemed sometimes slightly broken, as if the pencil had 
been lifted, then set down again. 

cm* BONO? 


" One other circumstance I am permitted to note, which is not 
readily to be accounted for on any other than spiritual agency. 
Mr. Simmons, -who received no particulars of his son*s death 
until several months after his decease, proposing to send for his 
remains, questioned the spirit as to the manner in which the 
body had been disposed of, and received a very minute and cir- 
cumstantial account of the means which had been resorted 
to for its preservation, it being at the time unburied. Improba- 
ble as some of these statements seemed, they were, after an 
interval of four months, confirmed as literally true by a gentle- 
man then recently returned from California, who was with 
young Simmons at the period of his death. Intending soon 
to return to California, he called on Mr. Simmons to learn his 
wishes in relation to the final disposition of his son's remains. 
The above particulars I took down in writing, by the permission 
of Mr. Simmons, during his relation of the facts." 

In the "British Standard," of Aug. 14, 1863, Dr. Campbell 
remarks of these and similar phenomena, "The conclusion of 
the whole, matter is this : we believe in the existence of angels 
and of devils, in the existence of the spirits of men both good 
and bad; we believe that all are capable of acting in their 
disembodied state on the minds of men still in the flesh; we 
believe in the possibility of intercourse between man and these 
disembodied intelligences, whether good or bad ; we believe, on 
the authority of Scripture, that spirits are capable of entering 
human bodies, of speaking through thepi and acting in them ; 
and hence we believe in the possibility of spirits operating on 
matter in the way of rapping out the letters of the alphabet, or 
in the way of writing with the pencil. We see nothing in Scrip- 
ture or in the nature of the case that militates against these 
conclusions. All that we require is proof, indubitable, sensible 
proof, from our own eyes and ears. On that condition, we at 
once g^ve full credence." 

To the question often put by the inconsiderate, in regard to 
the phenomena, "What good have they all done? — What's the 



use of them all?" Dr. Campbell replies, "We are sometimes 
met with the question cui bono f We deny our obligation, as a 
condition of rational faith, to prove the cui bono. It may exist 
where we see it not, and have important ends to accomplish 
with which we are unacquainted." 

Dr. Campbell relates some singular occurrences in his own 
experience, and concludes, "Explanation of such phenomena 
we have none to offer; but we stand by the facts as here stated." 

It is astonishing how often this cui bono interrogatory is put 
by persons who ought to see how a little reflection would silence 
them. Once when Dr. Franklin was asked in regard to some 
discovery, "What's the use of it.^" he retorted by saying, 
"What's the use of a new-born baby?" And as for that matter, 
it might be asked, " What's the use of any thing? " 

"I do not see that people have been made better men and 
women by these things," says a popular editor, in reference to 
the spiritual phenomena, the genuineness of which he admits. 
And by a superficial thinker, the remark will be taken as sound 
common sense, and as settling the whole question of their im- 

But you will observe that precisely the same objection might 
be brought against the discoveries of Copernicus, of Newton, 
and even of Morse and Fulton. Have people been made better 
men and women by the theory of gravitation, by the steamboat, 
the railroad, and the electric telegraph ? Indeed have the print- 
ing-press and the photographic art been exclusively servants in 
the cause of morality? Such questions, if not always put in the 
spirit of " the loud laugh that speaks the vacant mind," certainly 
indicate rather a narrow view of the great facts of existence. 



"•fhe spiritual world 

Lies all about us, and its avenues 

Ate ot>en to the unseen feet of phantoms 

That come and go, and we perceive them not, 

Save by their influence, or when at times 

A most mysterious Providence permits them 

To manifest themselves to mortal eyes." — Longfellow, 

WE come now to a narrative of phenomena so remarkable 
that they will probably excite many an exclamation of 
incredulity, although the authority on which they rest is above 

We have already had occasion to quote the testimony of Dr. 
John F. Gray, of New York. He was one of the earliest and 
most persevering investigators of the Hydesville phenomena. 
To us he has been personally known for more than a quarter of » 
a century ; and he is well known to a large circle of intelligent 
patients in the great city where he has had a lucrative profes- 
sional practice until, a few years ago, he retired from active 
occupation. " . 

Dr. Gray accepts the spiritual hypothesis as the only one 
covering all the phenomena he has witnessed. His reasons for I 
believing that spirits communicate with men in *he body are ' 
thus stated in a succinct summary of the results that have come 
to his kno^^dge during the last twenty years : — 

" I. PJtenomena of a physical nature not referable to the laws 
of physical relation ; such as the moving of ponderable bodies, 
independent of earthly mechanics ; the production of a great 
variety of sounds, also independent of any known or cotice.v<<* 



able mechanical apparatus ; the production of lights of various 
colors, sizes, shapes, degrees of brilliancy, and duration of in- 
candescence, in every case without the presence of any chemical 
agents or apparatus known to or usable by man ; and, lastly, the 
reproduction of living material bodies,, thrmgh which extempo- * 
raneous, but real and tangible physical organizations, the spirits 
have re-appeared to their friends on earth, expressing their pecu- 
liarities of physical form and movement, and likewise their 
peculiar and distinctive modes of apprehension, feeling, and 
intellection. Through these temporarily organized effigies of 
their former earth-bodies, they have (as I know from several 
instances of recent date) spoken to and sung with their relatives 
here, and have given many other equally palpable proofs of their 
ability to reconstruct and inhabit a physical form. 

** II. Phenomena of a mental nature not referable to earthly 
volition and intelligence ; such as the contrivance and produc- 
tion of the physical phenomena above cited ; the production of 
writings in various ancient and modern languages, wholly un- 
known to those in whose presence they have been executed ; the 
utterance of prophecy; the narration of events, and the recital 
of mental facts that are transpiring in distant places, often 
across broad oceans; the improvisation and incredibly rapid 
production of symbolic drawings and elaborate pictures by per- 
sons not versed in the pictorial art, and unable to explain the 
symbols they have executed and combined in such a way as to 
convey a good lesson of life, or renew a long-buried personal 
reminiscence; lastly, the felicitous and accurate impersonation 
of persons long departed this life, and who were wholly un- 
known to and unheard of by the personators. 

"The philosophy of spirit-intercourse sheds a mellow light 
over human history and human science. It founds a positive 
psychology, and teaches where to look for wellsprings of invenr 
tion and progress ; and it reconciles us to the hard ministry of 
sin and sorrow, of ignorance and suffering." 

In j860j Mr. . , an opulent and well-known 

banker of New York (formerly of the firm of L & 


. . . . , but now retired from business), lost his wife, to whom . 
he had been much attached, and who had been attended during 
her last illness by Dr. John F. Gray, an old friend of the hus- 
band. Mr. L . . . . , an inveterate skeptic, was now induced j 
by Dr. G. to call on Miss Kate Fox, the young woman through \ 
whose quick-wittedness these rapping phenomena were origin- 
ally interrogated and developed at Hydesville. 

In February, 1861, Mr. L. accordingly had a sitting with Miss I 
Fox; and the result was an entire change in his views concern- 
ing life and death. 

At a small gathering of inquirers at which our friend, Mr. 
Benjamin Coleman, of London, was present, in i86i, Dr. Gray 
read the following extraordinary account by Mr. L ..... of 
the manifestations which Mr. L. obtained through Miss Fox. 
After describing the precautions he took to prevent the possibil- 
ity of deception, Mr. L. proceeds as follows : — 

"The lights being extinguished, footsteps were heard as of 
persons walking in thieir stocking-feet, accompanied by the 
rustling sound of a silk dress. It was then rapped out by the 
alphabet, * My dear, I am here in form ; do not speak.' A glob- 
ular light rose up from the floor behind me ; and, as it became 
brighter, a face, surmounted by a crown, was distinctly seen by 
the medium and myself. Next, the head appeared, as if covered 
with a white veil : this was withdrawn after the figure had risen 
some feet higher; and I recognized unmistakably the full head 
and face of my wife, surrounded by a semi-circle of light about 
eighteen inches in diameter. The recognition was complete, 
derived alike from the features and her natural expression. The 
globe of light was then raised, and a female hand held before it 
was distinctly visible. Each of these manifestations was re- 
peated several times, as if to leave no doubt in our minds. Now 
the figure, coming lower down and turning its head, displayed, 
falling over the globe of light, long flowing hair , which, even in 
its shade of color, appeared like the natural tresses of my wife, 
and like hers was unusually luxuriant. This whole mass of hair 
was whisked in our faces many times, conveying the same sen.%«c- 


tions as if it had been actually human natural hair. This also 
was frequently repeated, and the hair shown to us in a variety of 
ways. The light and the rustling sound then passed round the 
table and approached me, and what seemed to the touch a skirt 
of muslin was thrown over my head, and a hand was felt as if 
holding it there. A whisper was now heard; and the words, 
* Sing, sing,* were audibly pronounced. I hummed an air, and 
asked, *Do you like that?' *Yes, yes,* was plainly spoken in a 
whisper; and in both cases I recognized distinctly the voice of 
my wife, to which I had become sensitively familiarized during 
her last illness, when she had become too weak to talk aloud.'* 

At another sitting, a few days after, the same precautions and 
conditions being observed, the following phenomena were wit- 
nessed : — 

" The table was lifted from the floor, the door violently shaken, 
the window-sash raised and shut several times; and, in fact, 
every thing movable in the room seemed in motion. 

" Questions were replied to by loud knocks on the door, on the 
window, ceiling, table, everywhere ; all being the work of several 
powerful spirits, who were present, and whose presence was 
necessary, as it was afterwards explained, to support or induce 
the manifestations of a more beautiful and interesting char- 

"An illuminated substance, like gauze, rose from the floor be- 
hind us, accompanied by a rustling sound, like that of a silk dress. 
The previously described electrical rattle became very loud and 
vigorous. The figure of a female passed round the table, and, 
approaching us, touched me. The gauzy substance was shaped 
as though covering a human head, and seemed as if drawn down 
tight at the neck. Upon close examination, as it approached 
near me a second time, it changed its form, and now seemed in 
folds over a melon-shaped oblong, concave on one side ; and in 
this cavity there appeared an intensified brilliant light. By raps, 
I was requested to look beyond the light. I looked as directed, 
and saw the appearance of a human eye. Again receding with 
the rattle, the light became still brighter; and then, re-approach- 

MR. L 



ing, the gauze, which had changed in form, was grasped by a 
naturally-formed female hand ; and unfolding, revealed to me, 
with a thrill of indescribable happiness, the upper half of the face 
of my wifey the eyes, forehead, and expression in perfection. 
The moment the emotion of recognition had passed into my 
mind, it was acknowledged by a succession of quick raps. 

"The figure disappeared and re-appeared several timesj the 
recognition becoming each time more nearly perfect, with an ex- 
pression of calm and beautiful serenity. I asked her to kiss me 
if she could ; and, to my great astonishment and delight, an arm 
was placed around my neck, and a real palpable kiss was im- 
planted on my lips, through something like fine muslin. A head 
was laid upon mine, the hair falling luxuriantly down my face. 
^ The kiss was frequently repeated, and was audible in every part 
of the room. The light then moved to a point about midway 
between us and the wall, which was distant about ten feet. The 
rattling increased in vigor ; and the light, gradually illuminating 
that side of the room, lirought out in perfection an entire female 
figure facing the wall, and holding the light in her outstretched 
hand, shaking it at intervals, as the light grew dim. My name 
and her name were repeated in a loud whisper; and among 
other things which occurred during this remarkable sitting, 
the figure at the close stood before the mirror, and was reflected 

The incidents of another evening were thus described : " The 
lights and electrical rattle were as strong as on the previous oc- 
casions. Hands were placed upon my forehead, a head placed 
upon mine, the hair, as before, falling down my face into my 
hand. I grasped it, and found it positively and unmistakably 
human hair. It was afterwards whisked playfully at me, creat- 
ing as much wind as an ordinary fan. The spiritual robe was 
then dropped over my head and face, as real and material in 
substance as cotton or muslin of a very fine texture. At one 
time, the globe of light extended to about two feet in diameter. 
At last, it was shaken with another sharp rattle ; and, shining 
brightly, revealed again the full head and face of my ^^fe^«s^x>3 



feature in perfection, but spiritualized in shadowy beauty such 
as no imagination can conceive, or pen describe. In her hair, 
just above the left temple, was a single white rose, the hair being 
arranged with great care. The next appearance, after a brief 
interval, revealed the same face, with a pink rose instead of a 
white one. The whole head and face were shown to us, at leust 
twenty times during the sitting, and each time was recognized 
by me, the perfection of the recognition being in proportion to 
the brilliancy of the light. During the whole of these manifes- 
tations, cards of a large size, provided by myself, were placed on 
the floor, with a pencil ; and long messages were found to have 
been written upon them," &c. 

Dr. Gray, in conclusion, said, "These manifestations could 
not have been produced by human means ; and if you admit the 
competency of the witness, of which, from my knowledge of him, 
I have no doubt,, they are, in my opinion, conclusive evidence of 
spirit identity." 

Several persons in the assembly rose to ask questions of Dr. 
Gray, respecting this very startling narrative ; and one gentre- 
man said, he really could not, though a believer in Spiritualism, 
receive such statements without great misgivings of delusion 
being mixed up with them. "Now," he said, "I put it to you, 
Dr. Gray, Do you believe that such things can and did occur?" 
Dr. Gray replied very calmly, "Yes, my friend; I believe as 
implicitly every word of those narratives as I do in my own 

Previous to leaving New York, Mr. Coleman made a special 
visit to Miss Kate Fox, the medium for these wonders ; and she 
fully corroborated all that Mr. L had told him. 

Of Miss Kate Fox, Dr. Gray writes : " She has been intimately 
known to my wife and me from the time she was a very young 
gir^l; that is to say, from 1850 to this date [1861]. At that early 
day in the history of the manifestations, she was frequently a 
visitor in my family ; and then, through that child alone, with- 
out the possibility of trick from collusion with others, or, I may 
truly add, of imposture of any kind, all the various phenomena 

DR. gray's testimony. 


recorded by friend L., except the reproduction of visible human 
forms, were witnessed by Mrs. Gray and myself, and many other 
relatives and friends of our family. Among these I may men- 
tion, as frequent, attentive, and very able observers, the late Dr. 
Gerald Hull,* my brother-in-law; and Dr. Warner, my son-in- 
law. Miss Fox is a young lady of good education, and of an 
entirely blameless life and character." 

Of Mr. L . . . . , Dr. Gray says, " Besides his general char- 
acter for veracity and probity, Mr. L. is a competent witness to 
the important facts he narrates, because he is not in any degree 
subject to the illusions and hallucinations which may be sup- 
posed to attach to the trance or ecstatic condition. I have 
known him from his very early manhood, and am his medical 
adviser. He is less liable to be misled by errors of his organs 
of sense than almost any man of my large circle of patients and 

Mr. L is of opinion that the electrical conditions, 

both of the atmosphere and of the persons receiving manifes- 
tations, are even more important and subtle than mental con- 
ditions. He says of himself, ** My condition has always been 
highly electrical. I find no difficulty in lighting gas by applying 
the end of my finger to the burner, after having excited the elec- 
tricity of my system, by friction of my feet on the carpet. This, 
however, is not an uncommon occurrence here ; though I have 
repeatedly tried it in England without success." 

"You ask if I believe all the manifestations are from one 
spirit. Most certainly not; for it has been repeatedly explained, 
and I think proved, that the spirit made itself visible to me 
through the powerful aid of other spirits." 

Cards were written on, in a very neat small hand, exactly like 
the natural handwriting of "Estelle," the wife, when in the 
flesh. Facsimiles of two of these cards, the one purporting to 

* Dr. Hull, who was universally respected and beloved, both as a physician and a 
friend, has often corroborated to us, personally, the most remarkable of the facts to 
which Dr. G. bears witness. 



be written by the spirit of Mr. L.*8 wife, and the other by the 
" spirit of Benjamin Franklin," are published in the " London 
Spiritual Magazine," of November, 1861. 

A spirit, assuming to be Franklin, was afterwards repeatedly 

visible. In a letter, dated Nov. 23, 1861, Mr. L writes : 

"I now aver, that no doubt of the identity* of the spirit longer 
remains upon my mind. His appearance [the same on several 
occasions] corresponds with the original portrait of the philoso- 
pher ; the difference being simply that which one would expect 
to find between a painting and a face replete with life and ex- 
pression. His presence was a wonderful and startling reality, 
seated in the chair opposite me at the table, vividly visible, and 
even to each article of dress. There could be no mistake." 

This eidolon of Franklin, as well as that of Estelle, was after- 
wards seen by the brother-in-law of Mr. L . . . . , and by Dr. 
Gray. The following are extracts, taken somewhat at random 
from Mr. L . . • . 's spiritual diary, of 1861-1863 : — 

Aug. 18, 1861, 8 P.M. — Present, the medium and myself. 
Atmosphere heavy and warm. Carefully examined the room, 
locked the door, took the key, and made all secure. Sat in quiet 
half an hour, when a spherical oblong light, enveloped in folds, 
rose from the floor to our foreheads, and rested upon the table in 
front. By raps, * Notice how noiselessly we come.* Hereto- 
fore the light had generally appeared after a succession of 
startling sounds and movements of movable objects; but in 
the present instance all was quiet. From this time, 8.30, till 
11.30, the light was constantly visible, but in diflferent forms. 
It remained upon the table a full, half-hour, the size and shape 

• If spirits have the power, attributed to them by many seers, of assuming any ap- 
pearance at will, it is obvious that some high spiritual sense must be developed in us 
before we can reasonably be sure of the idetUity of any spirit, even though it come 
bearing the exact resemblance of the person it may claim to be. We think, therefore, 
that the feet that the spirit, described by Mr. L., bore the aspect of Franklin, and called 
itself Franklin, is no sufficient reason for dismissing all doubts as to its identity. It 
may be, that we must be in a spiritual state before we can really be wisely confident of 
the identity of any spirit 



of a large melon. As during this time it was passive, I asked if • 
it could rise, whereupon it immediately brightened, flashed out, 
and rising, seemed a living, breathing substance. By raps, 
*This is our most important meeting; for it brings to our circle 
two powerful spirits great and good.' The light became gradu- 
ally more powerful, and so brilliant upon the side opposite us as 
to illuminate that part of the room. It now rose from the table, 
resting upon my head and shoulder; the drapery in the mean 
time touching and falling upon our faces, with a peculiar scent 
of violets. After resting upon, and pressing my head and shoul- 
der ivith the weight of a lixnng head, it descended to the floor. 
I was now satisfied that the purpose of this meeting was some 
other than the appearance of the spidt of my wife. The light 
now rose with increased brilliancy, showing a head upon which 
was a white cap surrounded by a frill. Seeing no face, I asked 
what this meant. The reply was by raps, 'As when I was ilL* 
This was correct ; for it was to all appearances the peculiar cap 
worn by my wife during her last illness. This having passed 
away, the light appeared again very brilliantly, showing a crown 
composed apparently of oak-leaves and flowers, a very, very 
beautiful manifestation. I had brought with me on this occa- 
sion some new cards of a larger size, diflferent from any before 
used, and had placed upon two of them private marks. These I 
put upon a book on the table. In a few minutes they were taken 
from the book, and one of them appeared near the floor, sus- 
pended three or four inches from the carpet, — I could not judge 
accurately; but the light brightly showed the centre card and 
radiated from each side to a distance of some three or four 
inches; or, in other words, the card was the centre of a circle 
of spirit-light of a foot in diameter; while an imperfectly-shaped 
hand, holding my small silver pencil, was placed upon the card 
and moved quietly across from left to right, as though writing, 
and when finishing a line, it moved quickly back to recommence 
another. We were not permitted to look at this very long at a 
time, as our steady gaze disturbed the operating forces ; but it 
remained more or less visible for nearly an hour. The full 



formed hand was seen only a portion of the time ; but, during all 
this time, a dark substance, rather smaller than the natural 
hand, held the pencil, and continued to write. One side of the 
card being finished, ive saw it reversed and the other pag-e com- 
menced. This is satisfactory evidence of the reality of spirit- 
writing, if any evidence can be satisfactory. There could have 
been no possible deception here. I held the medium's hand : 
the door was locked, and every precaution was taken by me as in 
previous instances. The identical cards were returned subse- 
quently, covered with the finest writing. . . . 

Sept. 26, 1861. — . . . After five or six appearances of my 
wife, the light rested upon the floor some ten feet distant from 
me ; then, rising, it suddenly darted across the room backwards 
and forwards, until, having gained sufficient power, it flashed 
brightly upon the wall, and brought into relief the entire figure 
of a large, heavy man, who stood before us. He was rather 
below the medium height; but broad-shouldered, heavy, and 
dressed in black, his back towards us, and his face not visible. 
He appeared thus three times very perfectly, remaining in view 
each time for about a minute. The moment his entire form was 
discerned by us, rappings commenced simultaneously in all 
parts of the room, which continued during the time he was in 
sight, as if to express delight at the achievement of a new suc- 
cess. On asking if the spirit we saw was that of Dr. Franklin, 
we were answered in the affirmative by three heavy dull knocks 
upon the floor, as though made by a heavy foot, which were 
several times repeated. During this sitting, the spirit of my wife 
approached, tapping me upon the shoulder, smoothing my hair, 
and caressing me ; while her long" tresses, as natural as in life, 
dropped over my face, %viih the peculiar scent of delicate, freshly 
gathered violets, A new and very curious manifestation now 
took place, showing us how the echoes were produced ; and there 
was spelled q^t, * Darling, have you not been rewarded f ' The 
light in producing these echoes or explosions assumed a lily 
shape, nearly the size of my head, and so brilliant as to light 
the entire surface of a table and the centre of the room, so that 

MR. L 



Miss Fox and I could see each other distinctly, as well as various 
objects in the room. Then bounding up and down from the 
surface of the table some twelve or eighteen inches, it struck the^ 
table, and, descending on my arm, produced the raps or echoes. 

^'^ Friday Evenings Oct, 4, 1861. — A bouquet of flowers 
was placed upon the mantel in a vase with water. As soon as 
the gas was turned down, a movement was heard ; and we were 
requested to * get a light.* Upon doing so, we found the flowers, 
with the vase and other articles, had been removed from the 
mantel to the table, which stood in the centre of the room. We 
again extinguished the light, when immediately the heavy cur- 
tains of the window were drawn aside, and raised and lowered 
repeatedly, admitting the light from the street. Rustlings were 
heard after an interval of quiet, with sounds as of persons walk- 
ing in stocking-feet. A peculiar sound was produced by striking 
against the wall, as though with a bag of keys or broken earthen- 
ware. This same bag of keys, or whatever it might have been, 
also seemed to be dropped from a height of several feet, and to 
fall heavily upon the floor, while we were told to listen. Tre- 
mendous concussions were then made upon the floor, jarring the 
whole house. The spirits of my wife and Dr. Franklin came to 
me in form at the same time, — he slapping me heavily upon the 
back, while she gently patted me upon the head and shoulder. 
The electrical rattle was now heard ; and the light increasing in 
brilliancy disclosed to our view the full figure of a heavy man. 
At my request, the figure * walked * across the floor, and appeared 
many times in different positions with entire distinctness. My 
wife now appeared in great vividness and beauty. Her figure 
floated gracefully through the room, her white robes falling 
back as she glided through the air, brushing away pencils^ cards, 
tfc, as she passed over and swept across the table. This spirit- 
robe was shown us in a variety of ways ; and the manifestation of 
texture was exquisitely beautiful. We saw her plainly withdraw 
her face behind it, pushing the robe forward while it swung in 
the air. It was brought over the table, the light being placed 
behind, so that it became transparent and gossamer like, as 




though a breath of air would dissolve it. This was frequently 
repeated, and the robe drawn across my head, as palpably as 
though of material substance. Whenever it approached closely, 
we discovered a peculiar scent of purity, like a very delicate per- 
fume of newly gathered grass or violets. 

" OcA 20, 1861. — This manifestation was a powerful one, 
showing the whole figure of my wife, but not her face. She 
stood before us enveloped in gossamer, her arm and hand as 
perfect as in life, the arm bare from the shoulder, with the excep- 
tion of the gossamer, which was so transparent that it was more 
beautiful for being thus dressed. I asked to be touched ; when 
she advanced, laid her arm across my forehead, and permitted 
me to kiss it. I found it as large and as real in weight as a liv- 
ing arm. At first it felt cold, then grew gradually warm. She 
held up the little finger, and moved it characteristically; and 
while we were looking at that, she let her hair fall loosely down 
her back. The manifestation was concluded by her writing a 
card, resting it upon my shoulder^ caressing me upon the head 
and temple, and kissing me for good-night. 

Nov. 3, 1861. — This evening, according to promise, my 
wife came in full form, placing her arms completely around 
my neck ; but the most remarkable and novel manifestation was 
the production of perfume from spirit-flowers. Something, re- 
sembling a veil in its contact, was thrown over my head ; and, 
while it was resting there, spirit-flowers were placed at my nose, 
exhaling the most exquisite perfume I have ever smelt. I asked 
what this was ; and was told * My wreath of spirit-flowers.' At 
my request the same was brought to the medium, who experi- 
enced similar sensations. This was repeated probably a dozen 
times, the perfume being as strong as that of tuberose, but en- 
tirelj' different and far more exquisite. 

" Sunday Evening-^ Nov. 10, 1861. — Immediately upon sitting 
down, there was communicated by raps, ''No failure,* . . . My wife 
tapped upon my shoulder, informing me that she should give all 
her aid to Dr. Franklin, who now became visible, his face for the 
first time being seen. The light was apparently held by ano£her 


figure enveloped in dark covering, from behind which the light 
approached, shining full upon the face of Dr. Franklin, about 
whose identity there can be no longer any doubt or mistake. I 
should have recognized it anywhere as Dr. Franklin*s face, as I 
have learned to know it from the original paintings I have seen of 
him but the strong points of his character were manifest as no 
painting could exhibit them. He was apparently dressed in a 
white cravat, and a brown coat of the olden style ; his head was 
very large, with gray hair behind his ears ; his face was radiant 
with benignity, intelligence, and spirituality : while my wife's 
was an angel face of shining beauty, spiritualized in its ex- 
pression of serenity and happiness. His appearance was that 
of a man full of years, of dignity, and of fatherly kindness, in 
whom one could find counsel, affection, and wisdom. He came, 
perhaps, a dozen times, and once or twice so near that his eyes 
. -were seen full and clear. My wife appeared three times in white 
robes and enveloped in flowers. 

Monday Evening"^ Nov, 12, 1861. — Electric rattlings were 
heard ; and the light becoming very vivid discovered to us Dr. 
Franklin seated^ his whole figure and dress complete. Indeed, so 
vivid was the light, and so real was the man sitting there, that 
his shadow was thrown upon the wall as perfectly as though a 
living human being were there, in his earth-form. His position 
was one of ease and dignity, leaning back in the chair, with one 
arm upon the table, occasionally bending forward in recognition 
of us, his gray locks swinging in correspondence with the move- 
ment. We closed our eyes by request. Upon opening them, he 
was standing on the chair, his form towering above us like a 
statue. Again he resumed his seat, the act being accompanied 
by Foud rustlings, which attend each movement of the spirit. A 
message from my wife informed me that a card would be visibly 
handed to Dr. Franklin. During all these appearances, there 
seemed to be two other forms or spirits assisting, one of whom 
held the light. One of these enveloped figures approached Dr. 
Franklin, and, extending an arm, held'a card directly before his 
face, so that the card was distinctly visible, and then placed it 



on his knee, and afterwards handed it to me. The power was 
great, remaining vigorous during the evening; and Dr. Franklin, 
• my silent companion, sat in his chair, my vis-a-vis, for an hour 
and a quarter. 

" Wednesday Evening, Nov, 21 yi^i, — . . . Something like a 
handkerchief of transparent gossamer was brought ; and we were 
told to look at the hand which now appeared under the gossamer, 
as perfect a female hand as was ever created. I advanced my 
own hand, when the spirit-hand was placed in it, grasping mine ; 
and we again grasped hands with all the fervor of long-parted 
friends, my wife in the spirit-land and mj'self here. The ex- 
pression of love and tenderness thus given cannot be described ; 
for it was a reality which lasted through nearly half an hour. I 
examined carefully that spirit-hand, squeezed it, felt the knuckles, 
joints, and nails, and kissed it, while it was constantly visible 
to my sight. I took each finger separately in my hand, and ^ 
could discern no difference between it and a human hand, except 
in temperature ; the spirit-hand being cold at first, and growing 
warm. I wore a glove, however, and could not perhaps judge 
accurately in all respects. At last * good-night ' was spelled out,' 
by the spirit-hand tapping upon mine, and then for a parting 
benediction, giving it a hearty shake. Nothing in all these 
manifestations has been more real to me, or given me greater 
pleasure, than thus receiving the kindly grasp of a hand dearer 
to me than life, but which, according to the world's theory, has 
long since with all its tenderness and life mouldered into the 
dust of the earth. 

Friday Evening, Nov, 29, 1861. — My brother and I and the 
medium present. Conditions unfavorable. Heavy rain-storm. 
Darkened the room, and immediately a spirit-light rose from 
the floor. I put on my glove, and my brother did the same. 
The light soon came in my hand, when I felt that it contained a 
female hand. It was frequently placed in mine, and by me 
grasped tightly, so that I felt every part of it, both the medium's 
hands being" at the time held by me. The spirit of my brother's 
deceased child also placed his hand in mine ; and a large man's 

MR. L 



hand, purporting to be that of Dr. Franklin, was placed in mine, 
seizing and shaking it so violently, that it shook my whole 
frame, and also the table. • My brother, also, had each of these 
hands placed in his. Thus, three distinct and different-sized 
hands were within a few minutes placed in each of ours, and 
recognized unmistakably as, first, a female hand; second, a 
child's; third, that of a full-sized man, each with its charac- 
teristic weakness or strength. At my request, the folding-doors 
of the room were opened and shut with great force repeatedly. 

Saturday Evening-, Nov. 30, 1861. — At home in my own 
house ; carefully locked the door. Conditions favorable ; weather 
clear and cold. Soon after darkening the room, heavy knocks 
came upon the table with the electric rattle, but without any 
light. By raps, the encouraging * No failure to-night ' was 
communicated. My cane and hat and a glass of water were 
called for. A vacant chair by the table moved and got into 
position without being touched by us. A request was made * to 
close eyes,* when a sound, like drawing a match, was heard 
several times repeated upon the table, with no result. Matches 
were then asked for. I procured a number of wax vestas ; and 
holding one over the table, it was instantly taken by a spirit- 
h'and, drawn across the table, and ignited at the third attempt. 
We opened our eyes : the room was illuminated by the burning' 
match ; and Dr. Franklin was before us, kneeling, the top of his 
head about a foot above the table. We looked at him as long as 
the match burned ; and he became invisible as it expired. . . , 
Soon after the male figure first appeared, the following was 
communicated by raps: *Now, dear son, can the world ever 
doubt? This is what we have so long labored to accomplish. — 
B. F.* Also, *My dear, now I am satisfied. — Estelle.' Upon 
cards there was subsequently written by the spirit, as follows : 
* This meeting is the most important we have ever had. Long 
have we tried to accomplish this manifestation, and success has 
crowned our efforts. You saw that I had only to light the match 
to show you that I was as naturally in form as you are. I have 
long tried to come in an earthly light, and have at last suc- 



'''•Dec, 15, 1861. — The figure of Dr. Franklin appeared per- 
fectly delineated, seated in the window, and permitted me to 
examine his hair with my hand. The hair was to sight and 
touch as real as human hair. 

''''Saturday Evenings Dec, 28, 1861. — In my own house and 
room, which was carefully examined, and door locked by myself. 
Soon after extinguishing the gaslight, the spirit-light rose, and 
requested us, by raps, to follow it across the room to the win- 
dow, which was heavily curtained, to exclude the light from 
the street. By raps, the following was communicated : *• I come ; 
J come in a cloud,* Immediately the light became very vivid : 
the * cloud ' appeared against the curtain, a portion of it over- 
hanging from the top ; while the face and figure of my wife, from 
the waist, was projected upon it with stereoscopic effect. White 
gossamer, intertwined with violets and roses, encircled her 
head; while she held in her hand a natural flower, which was 
placed at my nose, and subsequently found upon the bureau, 
having been carried by the spirit from a basket of flowers on the 
table, standing in the centre of the room. We were told to 
notice her dress, which seemed tight-fitting, of a substance 
like delicate white flannel. She was leaning upon her right 
hand ; the cuff of her sleeve was plain and neatly turned bade. 
In answer to my inquiry, whether this appearance was not like a 
bas-reliefs I was answered, ' No ; but you see the fine spirit-form, 
Tou notice I come in healthy and not as one year ago to-night* 
This appearance is new, and quite different from those originally 
seen, and is effected without noise or demonstrations of any 

^''Thursday Evenings Jan, 23. — My wife made her appear- 
ance standing against the door. She was exquisitely robed 
in white, and enveloped in blue gossamer. A white ribbon, 
tied or knotted in the centre, passed across her waist; and a 
large^and perfect bow-knot of white silk ribbon was attached to 
her breast diagonally. In her hand, near her face, she held 
a small oval mirror, about two inches in diameter. We had 
seen the mirror before, but at a distance. On this occasion I 


determined to examine it closely, and approached to within six 
or eight inches. The mirror was apparently glass, and reflected 
objects perfectly, — not only the light itself, but I saw my own 
face in it. The spirit-finger held opposite was reflected with all 
its motions. We asked for certain movements of the finger, 
which were made as requested, and simultaneously reflected in 
the mysterious glass. The flowers in her hair and on her person 
were real in appearance. Over her forehead was a crown of 
flowers. In the centre was a button or flower of black and gold 
upon a background of white. A card taken from me, and upon 
which I had written -a private question, was held by the spirit in 
front of her face, and behind the oval mirror, which thus hung 
suspended and swinging against the white card, rendering it a 
real, palpable object. The light shone vividly upon her face and 
figure; and while we stood looking intently, she instantly, as 
quick as thought, disappeared, with a rushing sound. Then, 
by raps, was communicated, *The electricity is very strong; 
and we did this to show you how quickly we can disappear.' 
Very soon she returned, as real as before. The light was subse- 
quently placed upon the floor, near the door ; while we receded to 
the middle of the room, remaining thus, at a distance of some 
ten feet from the medium, for twenty minutes. We were then 
requested to open the window to admit air, to enable them to 
dissipate the electricity. Immediately upon the fresh air being 
admitted, the light grew dim and disappeared. 

" yan. 24. — A stormy night with hail and sleet, ending in a 
severe gale. Conditions favorable. My wife appeared dressed 
precisely as last night, except having white gossamer around 
the top of her head. The * bow,* which was in the same place 
upon her breast, was the same as then ; and on this occasion waj- 
taken in our fingers for examination, being to sight and touch as 
real as silk. A low, murmuring sound was heard, something 
like the buzzing of a bee. I listened carefully, and noticed that 
it came from the lips of the spirit. This was an unsuccessful 
attempt to speak, or rather the preparatory process, eventually 
to result, doubtless, in success. The light approached her face. 



We were told to look in her mouth. Upon doing so, we dis- 
covered what seemed a piece of dried grass projecting from her 
lips about three inches. This was then placed in my hand and in 
my mouth. I closed my teeth upon it, finding it a real substance. 
By raps, I was told it was a spiritual substance, when it was 
withdrawn, and disappeared. A large musical box was standing 
upon the table, which required considerable force to start it or 
to stop it by means of springs. At my request, the spirit-light 
rose, resting upon the keys, and started the music, then stopped 
it, changing or repeating the tunes, and finally wound it up. 

^^yan, 30, 1862. — A manifestation of gr«at power and * solid 
form.' A veiled figure robed in white stood by us; and, opening 
the drapery which enveloped the head, we distinctly saw the 
eyes, forehead, and hair of Estelle, life-like, * like flesh and Mood* 
The lower part of the face was covered with the gossamer. This 
figure walked and floated through the room ; kissed me, rested 
its arm, while fully visible, upon my head and shoulders, repeat- 
ing the same to the medium* The arm was round, full, and 
flesh-like. I examined it both with my eyes and hands«. 

3I1 1S62. — Estelle and Dr. Franklin appeared alter- 
nately. Dr. Franklin's shirt-*bosom and collar were as real to 
appearance as though made of linen. We handled them,' and 
examined in the same manner his tunic, which was black and 
felt like cloth : his face and features were perfect and distinctly 
visible. This manifestation differs from that of last night, this 
having been spoken of by them as * the fine spiritual form,' which 
seems like the projection of form, color, and expression, with 
stereoscopic effect. We now see that the rustling is produced by 
movements of the envelope or robe, and is doubtless electrical. 

Sunday Evening-, Feb, 9, 1862. — My wife appeared leaning 
upon the bureau, with white lace hanging in front of and around 
her head. This lace or open work (like embroidery) was so real, 
that the figures were plainly discernible, and could have been 
sketched. As she stood in front of the bureau, the top of the 
mirror was plainly visible over her head, reflecting her form and 
BwrroundingK. There were flowers in her hair; and in other 



respects her appearance was similar to those previously de- 
scribed. The body of her dress or robe was of spotted white 
gossamer, while the lace-work was in diamonds and flowers. 

Wednesday Evening; Feb, 12, 1862. — I found the power 
strong ; and soon after entering the room messages were rapped 
out upon the door across the entire width of the room, fifteen 
feet distant from the medium and myself. About fifteen minutes 
after extinguishing the light, my wife came to us in exquisite 
beauty ; if possible, more vividly than ever, and directly over the 
table. In her bosom was a white rose, green leaves and other 
smaller flowers. A card which she had written upon was visibly 
given to me, handed back, and returned to me repeatedly by her, 
while she was in full view. Her hand, real in form and color, 
was affectionately extended to me, and caressed me with a touch 
so full of tenderness and love that I could not restrain my tears; 
for to me it was really her hand, her native gentleness was ex- 
pressed through it. ' The card was as follows: *Dear C, — 
Beautiful spring is approaching; flowery spring. Over you 
lightly fall its shadows ; and may no sorrow, no clouds, touch 
the brightness of your future. Have you not noticed, dear C, 
that all your life you have been prospered, guided, and directed 
by the guardians of your happiness? You have always been 
followed by an invisible protecting power, which will ever be 
near when danger threatens, to step between you and diflSculty, 
to lead you into paths of happiness and peace. We are now 
more closely linked, from our constant intercourse. There is 
not a day closes without a lasting blessing from us. As life is 
short, live well and live purely. . . . Fear not the world : there 
will be a day when this great truth will be seen in its true light 
and prized as it should be. . . . Be happy : all is well. Good- 
night. — ESTELLE.' 

*• Saturday Evenings Feb. 15. — Atmosphere unfavorable and 

damp. This meeting was held especially for Mr. G , my 

brother-in-law. There were present, the medium, Mr. G , 

and myself. I asked for a manifestation of power ; and we at 
once received the following message : ''Listen^ and hear it come 



through the air ; hands of the table* Immediately a terrific 
metallic shock was produced, as though a heavy chain in a bag 
swung by a strong man had been struck with, his whole power 
upon the tMe^ jarring" the whole house. This was repeated three 
times, with decreasing force. A heavy marble-topped table 
moved across the room ; and a large box did the same, no person 
touching or being near either of them. An umbrella which had 
been lying upon the table floated through the room, touching 

each of us upon the head, and was finally placed in G *s 

hand. These physical manifestations were given doubtless to 
convince an additional witness of the reality of spirit or invisi- 
ble power. If such was the object, the purpose was well served ; 
for every possible precaution had been taken by him, even to the 
sealing of the doors and windows. 

^''Sunday Evenings Feb. i6, 1862. — Appearance of my wife 
and of natural flowers. I had been promised a new manifesta- 
tion, * something 'natural as li/eJ* We sat longer than usual in 
quiet, and received the infallible message, ^ No failure,* The 
spirit announced her presence by gentle taps upon my shoulder, 
accompanied by rustlings, kissed me, and asked for a card and a 
pin, then another pin ; all of which I handed over my shoulder, 
together with a small strand of my hair, which latter was par- 
|ticularly requested. The takipg of each of these articles was 
accompanied by rustlings ; and, as the spirit-hand was exten ded 
over my shoul der v isibl)', the^jjraper y fell up on^ my haad and 
arm. Some ten minutes were now occupied by the spirit in 
arranging the card, pins, &c., when the following message was 
received : * I will give you a spirii-Jlower.* Immediately after- 
wards an apparently freshly gathered flower was placed at my 
nose, and that of the medium. My wife now appeared in white, 
holding the card in one hand, and the spirit-light in the other; 
while wQ discovered, fastened to the card, a leaf and flower.. I 
asked if I could have the flower, and was answered in the affirma- 
tive. My hand was then taken by the spirit, opened, and the 
card placed thereon ; while I was particularly and repeatedly 
enjoined to ' be very careful,* and ' do not not drop or disturb it* 



With the other hand I now lighted the gas, and found, to my 
surprise and astonishment, a leaf of laurel, about two and a half 
inches in length, pinned upon the card, and a pale pink flower 
pinned to the centre of the leaf, with the strand of hair passed 
through and tied in the leaf. We examined it carefully, smelled 
it, touched it, and found it fragrant and fresh. The card had not 
been during all this time within reach of the medium, who sat 
on mj right, while the spirit stood at my left, and the doors were 
as usual carefully and securely locked. After a careful examina- 
tion of five or ten minutes, we were requested to darken the room. 
Before doing so, wishing to preserve the leaf and flower, I placed 
them and the card upon a book in a remote part of the room, and 
returning to the medium, turned out the gas. The following 
message was then communicated : * I gave you the sacred priv- 
ilege of seeing this flower from our spirit-home : it has van- 
ished.' I immediately relighted the gas, and directed my steps 
across the room, when I found the card and the pins precisely 
as I had left them ; but the leaf and flower were gone. By raps, 
* Next time you shall see the flowers dissolve in the light.* The 
following was also written upon another card by the spirit of 
Benjamin Franklin : * My son, we are achieving a great victory 
at this moment. — B. F.' ♦ 

** Saturday Evenings Feb. 22, .1862. — Appearance of flowers. 
Cloudy. Atmosphere damp. Conditions unfavorable. At the 
expiration of half an hour, a bright light rose to the surface of 
the table, of the usual cylindrical form, covered with gossamer. 
Held directly over this was a sprig of roses, about six inches in 
length, containing two half-blown white roses, and a bud with 
leaves. The flowers, leaves, and stem were perfect. They were 
placed at my nose, and smelled as though freshly gathered ; but 
the perfume in this instance was weak and delicate. We took 
them in our fingers, and I carefully examined the stem and 
flowers. The request was made as before to * be very careful.* 

* Fort Donelson, on the Tennessee River, was taken on this day by the Federal 
forces, February i6th. 



I noticed an adhesive, viscous feeling which was explained as 
being the result of a damp, impure atmosphere. These flowers 
were held near and over the light, which seemed to feed and give 
them substance in the same manner as the hand. 1 have no- 
ticed that all these spiritual creations are nourished and fed or 
materialized by means of the electrical reservoir or cylinder, and 
that when they begin to diminish or pass off, incrassation or 
increase takes place the moment they are brought in contact 
with, or in proximity to, the electrical light. By raps, we were 
told to ^Notice and see them dissolve* The sprig was placed 
over the light, the flowers drooped, and, in less than one minute, 
melted as though made of wax, their substance seeming to 
spread as they disappeared. By raps, * See them come again* 
A faint line immediately shot across the cylinder, grew into a 
stem ; and, in about the same time required for its dissolution, 
the stem, bud, and roses had grown into created perfection. 
This was several times repeated, and was truly wonderful. We 
were promised the phenomenon of their probable disappearance 
in the gaslight when the atmosphere became pure and clear. 

" Sunday Evening; Feb. 23, 1862. — Flowers. Atmosphere 
very damp. Conditions unfavorable. The flowers were repro- 
duced in the same manner as last evening. I felt them carefully; 
and a rose was placed in my mouth, so that I took its leaves 
between my lips. They were delicate as natural rose-leaves, 
and cold; and there was a peculiar freshness about them, but 
very little fragrance. The following message was written upon 

a card: *My dear C , — Again we have to contend with the 

atmosphere ; but how much we have been able to clo, owing to 
the many powerful aids who have been so kind to us ! Do you 
realize the great blessings we are giving you? Do you realize 
what a great proof you have received in being permitted to see 
the flowers which decorate our sacred walks? . . . The time is 
coming, has come, when this subject will be honored. Good- 
night. — ESTELLE.* 

" Tuesday Evening, Feb. 25, 1862. — Appearance in presence 
of a third witness, Mr. G , the medium, and myself. The 

MR. L 



room in which we sat was connected with another smaller roon 
by sliding-doors ; but the doors and windows leading into these 
two were carefully sealed. After sitting about half an hour, 
we were directed to open these sliding-doors ; while the medium 
and myself proceeded to a window against which was hung a 
dark curtain to exclude the light* as usual. Meanwhile Mr. 

G remained by the table. Upon reaching the window, a 

vivid light rose from the floor, discovering to us the form of a 
male spirit standing against the white wall adjoining the win- 
dow. At first his face was not visible, or rather was concealed 
by the unusual quantity of dark drapery by which he was envel- 
oped ; but after two or three efforts the face of Dr. Franklin was 

recognized. During this time Mr. G was not permitted to 

leave the table. At last the conditions having become stronger, 
or rather the effect of his presence having been partially over- 
come, the following message was received : * Dear friend, ap- 

proachJ* Mr. G now came to us, when the spirit of Dr. 

Franklin immediately became visible to him. He saw the hair 
was real ; for while we^tood before him it was frequently placed 
over and on the light to show its substantiality. He did not, 
however, see the spirit in the same degree of perfection that we 
do, but sufficiently well to recognize the face of Dr. Franklin as 
represented in his portraits. The eyes, hair, features, and 
expression, together with a portion of the drapery, were all 
visibly perfect ; but the power of the electrical light was consider- 
ably weakened from the effects of Mr. G 's presence. These 

effects were very curious. With Mr. G in the other room, 

the light was bright and vivid, decreasing as he approached in 
proportion to the distance ; again brightening as he receded, and 
Vice-versd, showing that the sphere of a person in the earth-form 
has a direct influence upon these creations of the invisible 
world; and that this influence may be a disturbing one, from no 
other cause except surprise, fear, or any violent emotion result- 
ing from inexperience in the phenomena." 

In a letter to Mr. Coleman, dated June loth, 1862, Mr. Lt . . . 
. . . . writes, "I have the pleasure of announcing to you the 



initiation of Dr. Gray as a witness of the visible pk€ht:pce of Dr. 
Franklin on Friday night last. He saw the spirit less dihtinctly 
than has generally been my experience, but sufficiently well to 
recognize liim. This being, however, the first time of seeiag 
him, he may expect to attain by progressive steps the same vivid- 
ness that has been manifested to us, after the first emotions of 
surprise have been overcome by familiarity with the phenom- 
enon. The doctor actually saw and took the gray hair of 
Franklin's spirit, as well as a portion of the clothliffgrEflM^ ^jand, 
and examined them. To me this is now a very cJRtMnotrtJccCir- 
rence ; bul the additional corroborative testimony of Dr. Gray is 
very important." 

Dr. Gray, on his part, fully confirms all this. He writes (Jan- 
uary, 1867), " I can only reply to your latest request, that I would 
write out my testimony in this case for publication, that Mr. 
L . . . . 's statements are each, one and all of them, fully reli- 
able. His recitals of the seances in which I participated are 
faithfully and most accurately stat^ffjileaving not a shade of 
doubt in my mind as to the truth amRlf^racy of his accounts 
of those at which I was not a witness. 1 saw with him the 
philosopher Franklin, in a living, tangible, physical form, 
several times and on as many different occasions. I also wit 
nessed the production of lights, odors, and sounds ; and also the 
formation of flowers, cloth-textures, &c., and their disintegration 
and dispersion. 

"These phenomena, including the apparition of Dr. Frank- 
lin and also many other phenomena of like significance have 

all been shown to me when Mr. L# was not present and 

not in the country even. 

"Mr. L. is a good observer of spirit phenomena? brave, clear 
and quick sighted, void of what is called superstition, in good 
health of body and mind, and remarkably unsusceptible to 
human magnetism. Moreover, he knows that all forms of spirit 
communication are subject to interpolation from earth-minds, 
and are of no other or greater weight than the truths they con- 
tain confer upon them. 



"Miss Fox, the medium, deported herself with patient integ- 
rity of conduct, evidently doing all in her power, at all times, to 
promote a fair trial and just decision of each phenomenon as it 
occurred. — John F. Gray.'* 

The narrative of Mr. L includes nearly all the most 

important phenomena which have been experienced in connec- 
tion with these modern manifestations. His observations in 
respect t^^^^ostume of the- supposed spirits appear to have 
be^yi^^^^^B minute. This question of the dress 'of spirits 
%araRee^^^^^ discussed. When Joan of Arc was in mockery 
asked by her judges about the clothing of the spirits who visited 
her, she replied, "Is it possible to conceive that a God who is 
served by ministering spirits cannot also clothe them ? " 

Swedenborg affirms that in the spirit-world all clothing is 
representative, and is outwrought from the affections and states 
of its several inhabitants. 

Some seers have asserte^nat the spiritual body is composed 
of a subtle ether, a^^^^B|pirits make themselves visible by 
means of its vibrati^^HBWan give what forms they please, by 
a mere effort of th^^ll, to their coverings; that the human 
body itself, and the garments we wear, are composed of the same 
ultimate particles of matter; and that the spiritual fabric is 
nothing but those ultimate particles in their most attenuated 
state. Of the power of spirits to use the elements of our own 
atmosphere, in giving concretion, visibility, and tangibility, 

odor and color, to forms, the experiences of Mr. Lr and 

others offer strong testimony. The subject is one which a more 
advanced science may some day be able to explore. 



" We all are at once mortal and immortal ; inhabitants of time 
nity." — y. Slack. 

■pvANIEL DUNGLASS HOME was born near Edinburgh, 
March, 1833. When about a year old, he was adopted by 
an aunt. Some eight years afterwards he accompanied her and 
her husband to America. At the age of seventeen, he was resid- 
ing at Norwich, Conn. Soon aftM^ha developments at Hydes- 
ville, through the Fox family, he'b^H^y|^nifest extraordinary 
powers as a medium, and in i^^^^^^squired considerable 
reputation among those interestec^^^^P phenomena in the 
United States. 

He went to Europe early in the spring of 1855 ; and his career 
there, in the exercise of his wonderful gifts, has been of a charac- 
ter to bring him repeatedly before the public. 

Not long since he was a party to a lawsuit, at the trial of 
which he was the subject of a good deal of abuse and misrep- 
resentation by the English press. It was the celebrated case of 
Lyon versus Home. The plaintiff, Mrs. Lyon, was a widow 
lady, seventy years old or more, possessed of a considerable for- 
tune, and without any child or near relative. Having read Mr. 
Home's " Incidents of My Life," she called on him, introduced 
herself (Oct. 30, 1866), and asked him to visit her. He did so; 
and, after two or three interviews, she proposed to make him 
her adopted son. In November, she executed a will in his favor; 
and the next month he took the name of Lyon, advertising the 
fact. She executed a deed, confirming a gift of £24,000, and 
adding £6,000; and, finally, in January, i§67, she conveyed 



to him, after the reservation of a life-interest, a further snm of 
£30,000. All this was done in legal form, and after deliberation 
and consultation. 

Whether it was the part of good taste and manly independence 
in' Mr. Home to accept these large sums, we decline to discuss ; 
but we will venture the remark, that, among the self-righteous 
ones who have made him the subject of their denunciations, there 
is probably jiot an individual who, under similar circumstances, 
wouI^^^MpMe consented to be enriched in the same way. 

»oir^n?facts in Mr. Home's affidavit, we are led to infer that 
it was not till after he had been thus formally adopted by the 
old lady as a son, that he discovered she had been calculating on 
his marrying her. **Do you know,'* said she, "that nothing 
would be greater fun than that I should marry you.? How the 
world would talk ! " Mr. Home does not appear to have been 
agreeably impressed by th^uitimation. 

In her bill of conu^u|^»Irs. Lyon asserted that she 'was 
made to believe by^^^^^^Bat the spirit of her deceased hus- 
band required her ^^Hj^li^he said defendant." It very soon 
appeared on the trfflvby her own displays of wilfulness and 
headstrong unveracity, that the old lady was one whom neither 
spirits out of the flesh nor in the flesh would be likely to influ- 
ence to do what was contrary to her own caprice. She contra- 
dicted her own testimony so grossly, that even the presiding 
Vice-Chancellor — bitterly prejudiced as he was against Mr. 
Home and against Spiritualism — could not avoid speaking of 
her testimony as "-clearly untrustworthy, and such as no man 
ought to have his case decided upon against him." 

And yet there was no evidence whatever, except her own 
assertion, that Mr. Home had tried to get her to adopt him, by 
representing that her departed husband recommended it. Mrs. 
Lyon seems to have been dazzled by the social position which 
she fancied that Home occupied, by his presents from kings 
and emperors, and to have aspired to mix in the aristocratic 
world, and to assume in her old age a rank from which she had 
been all her life excluded. 




She soon found she had miscalculated in regard to Mr. Home. 
Instead of taking her matrimonial hints, he was so unaccommo- 
dating as to fall ill, and threaten to die. He had a little boy for 
whom Mrs. Lyon conceived a deadly dislike ; and she now saw 
before her the prospect of the large sums she had parted with 
going to enrich this youth. One fine day, as Mr. Home was 
about starting for Paris, he was arrested and thrown into prison 
under a writ of ne exeat regno. 

The trial came on in the spring of 1868, before Vi<^j|^iancellor 
GifFard, who decided the case adversely to Mr. Home^rdStling 
him to restore all the money he had received from Mrs. Lyon. 
From this decision Mr. Home appealed; but lately there has 
been a compromise between the parties, which ends the affair. 

The fable of the wolf and the lamb is recalled by Mrs. Lyon's 
attempt to show that she was under the " undue influence, as- 
cendency, and power" of Mr. Home. Hers appears to have 
been the stronger will in the case ^ftd^he had every thing her 
own way. ^^^^8C 

The affidavit of Mr. Home sets WBWBfrfrom his childhood 
he has been subject to the occasional ^^fpening of singular 
physical phenomena in his presence, which are most certainly 
not produced by him or by any other person in connection with 
him. "I have," he affirms, **no control over them whatever: 
they occur irregularly, and even when I am asleep. Sometimes 
I am many months, and once I have been a year, without them. 
I cannot account for them further than by supposing them to be 
effected by intelligent beings or spirits. Similar phenomena 
occur to many other persons. . . . These phenomena, occurring 
in my presence, have been witnessed by thousands of intelligent 
and respectable persons, including men of business, science, and 
literature, under circumstances which would have rendered, 
even if I had desired it, all trickery impossible." 

Mr. Home proceeds to affirm that they have also been wit- 
nessed in their own private apartments, when any contrivance 
of his must have been detected, by the emperor and empress of 
the French, the emperor of Russia and his family, the king of 

MR. home's affidavit. 


Prussia, and other royal personages, who have had ample oppor- 
tunities, which they have used, of investigating the phenomena 
and inquiring into the character of the medium. 

"I have resided," continues Mr. Home, "in America, Eng- 
land, France, Italy, Germany, and Russia ; and in every country 
I have been received as a guest and friend by persons in the 
highest position, who were quite competent to discover and 
expose, as they ought to have done, any thing like contrivance \ 
on my part to produce these phenomena. I do not seek, and 
never have sought, the acquaintance of any of these exalted 
personages. They have sought me ; and I have thus had a cer- 
tain notoriety thrust upon me. I do not take money, and never 
have taken it ; although it has been repeatedly offered me for or 
in respect of these phenomena. . . . Some of the phenomena in 
question are noble and elevated, others appear to be grotesque 
and undignified. For this I am not reponsible, any more than I 
am for the many grotesque and undignified things which are 
undoubtedly permitted to exist in the material world. I sol- 
emnly swear fhat I do not produce the phenomena aforesaid, 
or, in any way whatever, aid in producing them." 

In the course of the cross-examination, Mr. Home said, "I 
have seen spirits ; have conversed with them orally. They have 
called to me in sounds audible to my ear ; and I have talked to 
them. Strange sounds are heard, like a rapping. It does not 
indicate who the spirit is. We take it for granted, the same as 
in the call of the telegraph wire, that there is an intelligence 
there at the end of it. The language used by the spirits is 
exceedingly beautiful and elevated. 

**I have been bodily displaced in violation of the ordinary 
rules of gravity. (I must protest against its being supposed 
that I am the only person to whom this has occurred.) Chairs 
and tables have been moved in the same way. I have found a 
useful result of Spiritualism in convincing those who did not 
believe in it of the immortality of the soul." 

Mr. Home is a person of very delicate constitution and ex- 
treme nervous sensibility. He is tall, slender, and fair-haired. 




and does not convey the idea of robustness, physical or mental. 
His acquaintances generally appear to have mingled in their 
regard for him a sort of tenderness, as if he were one to be 
shielded from the rougher experiences of life. Those who have 
known him best, testify to his character as " a man of honor 
and proper moral feeling." 

Our first call on Mr. Home was made without signifying our 
intention to any one. We had never seen him or corresponded 
with him, and did not suppose that he even knew us by name. 
But as we rang the bell, he, without having seen us, said to 

Mrs. R., at whose house he was stopping, **That is Mr. 

who rings. He has come to call on me." 

Dr. Winslow Lewis, long known as one of the most eminent 
surgeons of Boston, informed us, in Home's presence (Feb. 21, 
1865), that he (Dr. L.) took up the "Boston Directory" the 
day before to look for a name which he had not mentioned to 
any human being. "Here, I'll find it for you," said Home, 
taking the book out of his hand, and instantly pointing to the 
name. * 

Dr. Lewis also told us that he handed to Home a photograph- 
album, full of likenesses, the originals of which were unknown 
to him ; and Home pointed to those persons who had deceased, 
and in every instance he was right. 

"Second sight," said Home, joining in the conversation, "is 
my strong point." (His mother had been a seeress. From her 
he had probably derived his gift.) "Being at a party once in 
London, I heard one man say to another, *Do you know that 
fellow?' — *Oh, yes! that's that humbug, Home.' At once I 
turned to the last speaker, and said, 'Excuse me, sir; but I am 
at this moment vividly impressed with the particulars of .an 
affair in which you were an actor* — let me see — when you were 
twenty- two years of age. But I cannot help wondering why 
you took the course you did, when you might have ' — here 

• Instances of a similar faculty in the lives of Zschokke, the late Forceythe Willson, 
and others, are well authenticated. 


I whispered the rest in his ear. The man looked aghast, and, 
drawing me aside, said, * There should be -no human being but 
myself who knows a word of that affair. Saj no more. You 
have said enough.* This man subsequently became one of my 
best friends." 

As these are comparatively very slight manifestations of 
power, we will not pause to anticipate the obvious objections 
which skepticism might raise to the uncorroborated form in 
which they are here put. 

From the numerous published accounts, amounting now to 
several hundred, by many different witnesses> of the phenomena 
produced through the mediumship of Home, we select the 
account, which we slightly abridge, by the late Robert Bell, con- 
tributed to the " Cornhill Magazine " (London, August, i860), 
when the late Mr. Thackeray — so justly celebrated for his writ- 
ings — was the editor. 

In introducing the account, Mr. Thackeray says, " I can vouch 
for the good faith and honorable character of our correspondent, 
a friend of twenty-five years* standing." 

Of Mr. Thackeray's own convictions on the subject we have 
the following record, which we extract from Weld's "Last Win- 
ter in Rome " (1865) : — 

" I remember well meeting the late Mr. Thackeray, at a large 
dinner-party, shortly after the publication in the * Cornhill 
Magazine,* then edited by him, of the paper entitled * Stranger 
than Fiction.* In this paper, as will be remembered by many 
readers, a detailed account was given of a spiritual sdauce, at 
which Mr. Home performed, or caused to be performed, many 
surprising things, the most astounding being his floating in 
the air above the heads of persons in the room. There were 
several scientific men at the dinner-party, all of whom availed 
themselves of the earliest opportunity to reproach Mr. Thacke- 
ray with having permitted the paper in question to appear in a 
periodical of which he was editor, holding, as he did, the high- 
est rank in the world of letters. Mr. Thackeray, with that 
imperturbable calmness which he could so well a8sume^ Kaax^ 



all that was said against him, and the paper in question, and 
thus replied : * It is all very well for you, who have probably 
never seen spiritual manifestations, to talk as you do ; but, had 
you seen what I have witnessed, you would hold a different 
opinion.' He then proceeded to inform us that, when in New 
York, at a dinner-party, he saw the large and heavy dinner-table, 
covered with decanters, glasses, dishes, plates — in short, every 
thing appertaining to dessert — rise fully two feet from the 
ground, the modus operandi being, as he alleged, spiritual force. 
No possible jugglery, he declared, was or could have been em- 
ployed on the occasion ; and he felt so convinced that the motive 
force was supernatural, that he then and there gave in his adhe- 
sion to the truth of Spiritualism, and consequently accepted the 
article on Mr. Home's stance. Whether Mr. Thackeray thought 
differently before he died, I cannot say; but this I know, that 
every possible argument was used by those present to endeavor 
to shake his faith in Mr. Home's spiritual manifestations, which 
were, as they declared, after all but sorry performances com- 
pared with the surprising tricks of Houdin or Frikell." 

We will not longer detain the reader from that part of Mr 
Bell's paper relating to Mr. Home : — 

** 'I have seen what I would not have believed on your testi- 
mony, and what I cannot, therefore, expect you to believe upon 
mine,' was the reply of Dr. Treviranus to inquiries put to him 
by Coleridge as to the reality of certain magnetic phenomena, 
which that distinguished savant was reported to have witnessed. 
It appears to me that I cannot do better than adopt this answer 
as an introduction to the narrative of facts I am about to relate. 
It represents very clearly the condition of the mind before and 
after it has passed through experiences of things that are irrec- 
oncilable with known laws. I refuse to believe such things upon 
the evidence of other people's eyes ; and I may possibly go so 
far as to protest that I would not believe them even on the evi- 
dence of my own. When I have seen them, however, I am 
compelled to regard the subject from an entirely different point 
of view. It is no longer a question of mere credence or author- 



ity, but a question of fact. Whatever conclusions, if any, I may 
have arrived at on this question of fact, I see distinctly that I 
have been projected into a better position for judging of it than 
I occupied before; and that what then appeared an imposition, 
or a delusion, now assumes a shape which demands investiga- 

" But I cannot expect persons who have not witnessed these 
things, to take my word for them ; because, under similar circum- 
stances, I certainly should not have taken theirs. What I do 
expect is, that they will admit as reasonable, and as being in 
strict accordance with the philosophical method of procedure, 
the mental progress I have indicated, from the total rejection of 
extraordinary phenomena upon the evidence of others, to the 
recognition of such phenomena as matter of fact, upon our own 
direct observation. This recognition points the way to inquiry, 
which is precisely what I desire to promote. . . . 

" Our party of eight or nine assembled in the evening; and the 
sdance commenced about nine o'clock, in a spacious drawing- 
room, of which it is necessary to give some account, in order to 
render perfectly intelligible what is to follow. In different parts 
of the room were sofas and ottomans, and in the centre a round 
table, at which it was arranged that the sdance should be held. 
Between this table and three windows, which filled up one side 
of the room, there was a large sofa. The windows were draped 
with thick curtains, and protected by spring-blinds. The space 
in front of the centre-window was unoccupied ; but the windows 
on the right and left were filled by geranium-stands. 

"The company at the table consisted partly of ladies and 
I artly of gentlemen ; and amongst the gentlemen was the cele- 
brated Mr. Home. ... He looks like a man whose life has been 
passed in a mental conflict. The expression of his face in repose 
is that of physical suffering ; but it quickly lights up when you 
address him, and his natural cheerfulness colors his whole man- 
ner. There is more kindliness and gentleness than vigor in the 
'character of his features ; and the same easy-natured disposition 
may be traced in his unrestrained intercourse. He is yet so 



young, that the playfulness of boyhood has not passed awaj; 
and he never seems so thoroughly at ease with himself and 
others as when he is enjoying some light and temperate amuse- 
ment. ... 

"The sdance commenced in the centre of the room. I pass 
over the preliminary vibrations to come at once to the more 
remarkable features of the evening. From unmistak^ible indi- 
cations, conveyed in different forms, the table was finally re- 
moved to the centre-window, displacing the sofa, which was 
wheeled away. The deep space between the table and the win- 
dow was unoccupied, but the rest of the circle was closely packed. 
Some sheets of white paper, and two or three lead-pencils, an 
accordion, a small hand-bell, and a few flowers were placed on 
the table. Sundry communications now took place, which I 
will not stop to describe; and at length an intimation was 
received, through the usual channel of correspondence, that the 
lights must be extinguished. As this direction is understood to 
be given only when -unusual manifestations are about to be made, 
it was followed by an interval of anxious suspense. There were 
lights on the walls, mantel-piece, and console-table ; and the 
process of putting them out seemed tedious. When the last was 
extinguished, a dead silence ensued, in which the tick of a watch 
could be heard. 

" We must now have been in utter darkness, but for the pale 
light that came in through the window, and the flickering glare 
tl^rown fitfully over a distant part of the room by a fire which 
was rapidly sinking in the grate. We could see, but could 
scarcely distinguish, our hands upon the table. A festoon of 
dull gleaming forms round the circle represented what we knew 
to be our hands. An occasional ray from the window now and 
then revealed the hazy surface of the white sheets, and the misty 
bulk of the accordion. We knew where these were placed ; and 
could discover them with the slightest assistance from the gray, 
cold light of a watery sky. The stillness of expectation that 
ensued during the first few minutes of that visible darkness wa%' 
80 profound that, for all the sounds of life that were heard, it 
might have been an empty chamber. 



" The table and the window, and the space between the table 
and the window, engrossed all eyes, it was in that direction 
everybody instinctively looked for a revelation. Presently, the 
tassel of the cord of the spring-blind began to tremble. We 
could see it plainly against the sky ; and, attention being drawn 
to the circumstance, every eye was upon the tassel. Slowly, 
and apparently with caution, or difficulty, the blind began to 
descend : the cord was evidently being drawn ; but the force 
applied to pull down the blind seemed feeble and uncertain. It 
succeeded, however, at last; and the room was thrown into 
deeper darkness than before. But our vision was becoming 
accustomed to it; and masses of things were growing palpable to 
us, although we could see nothing distinctly. Several times, at 
intervals, the blind was raised and pulled down ; but, capricious 
as the movement appeared, the ultimate object seemed to be to 
diminish the light. 

** A whisper passed round the table about hands having been 
seen or felt. Unable to answer for what happened to others, I 
will speak only of what I observed myself. The table-cover was 
drawn over my knees, as it was with the others. I felt distinctly 
a twitch, several times repeated, at my knee. It was the sensa- 
tion of a boy's hand, partly scratching, partly striking, and 
pulling me in play. It went away. Others described the same 
sensation; and the celerity with which it frolicked, like Puck, 
under the table, now at one side and now at another, was sur- 
prising. Soon after, what seemed to be a large hand came t 
under the table-cover, and with the fingers clustered to a point, 
raised it between me and the table. Somewhat too eager to 
sati&fy my curiosity, I seized it, felt it very sensibly ; but it went 
out, like air, in my grasp. I know of no analogy in connection 
with the sense of touch by which I could make the nature of that 
feeling intelligible. It was as palpable as any soft substance, 
velvet, or pulp ; and at the touch it seemed as solid ; but press- 
ure reduced it to air. 

**ft was now suggested that one of the party should hold the 
hand-bell under the table; which was no sooner done than it 



was taken awaj, and after being rung at different points was 
finally returned, still under the table, into the hand of another 

** While this was going forward, the white sheets were seen 
moving, and gradually disappeared over the edge of the table. 
Long afterwards we heard them creasing and crumpling on the 
floor, and saw therti returned again to the table ; but there was 
no writing upon them. In the same way, the flowers which lay 
near the edge were removed. The semblance of what seemed a 
hand, with white, long, and delicate fingers, rose up slowly in 
the darkness, and, bending over a flower, suddenly vanished with 
it. This occurred two or three times; and although each 
appearance was not equally palpable to every person, there was 
no person who did not see some of them. The flowers were 
distributed in the manner in which they had been removed ; a 
hand, of which the lambent gleam was visible, slowly ascending 
from beneath the cover, and placing the flower in the hand for 
which it was intended. In the flower-stands in the adjoining 
window, we could hear geranium-blossoms snapped oft*, which 
were afterwards thrown to different persons. 

** Still more extraordinary was that which followed, or rather 
which took place, while we were watching this transfer of the 
flowers. Those who had keen eyes, and who were in the best 
position for catching the light upon the instrument, declared 
that they saw the accordion in motion. I could not. It was as 
• black as pitch to me. But, concentrating my attention on the 
spot where I supposed it to be, I soon perceived a dark mass rise 
awkwardly above the edge of the table, and then go down, the 
instrument emitting a single sound, produced by its being struck 
against the table as it went over. It descended to the floor in 
silence; and a quarter of an hour afterwards, when we were 
engaged in observing some fresh phenomena, we heard the 
accordion beginning to play where it lay on the ground. 

** Apart from the wonderful consideration of its being played 
without hands, no less wonderful was the fact of its being 
played in a narrow space, which would not admit of its being 



drawn out with the requisite freedom to its full extent. We 
listened with suspended breath. The air was wild, and full of 
strange transitions, with a wail of the most pathetic sweetness 
running through it. The execution was no less remarkable for 
its delicacy than its power. When the notes swelled in some of 
the bold passages, the sound rolled through the room with an 
astounding reverberation; then, gently subsiding, sank into a 
strain of divine tenderness. But it was the close that touched 
the hearts, and drew the tears of the listeners. Milton dreamt of 
this wondrous termination when he wrote of * linked sweetness 
long drawn out.' By what art the accordion was made to yield 
that dying note, let practical musicians determine. , Our ears, 
that heard it, had never before been visited by * a sound so fine.* 
It continued diminishing and diminishing, and stretching far 
away into distance and darkness, until the attenuated thread of 
sound became so exquisite that it was impossible at last to fix 
the moment when it ceased. 

"That an instrument should be played without hands, is a 
proposition which nobody can be expected to accept. The whole 
story will be referred to one of the two categories under which > 
the whole of these phenomena are consigned by * common sense.' 
It will be discarded as a delusion or a fraud. Either we ima- 
gined we heard it, and really did not hear it; or there was some 
one under the table, or some mechanism was set in motion to 
produce the result. Having made the statement, I feel that I am 
bound, as far as I can, to answer these objections, which I admit • 
to be perfectly reasonable. Upon the likelihood of delusion, my 
testimony is obviously worth nothing. With respect to fraud, I 
may speak more confidently. It is scarcely necessary to say, that 
in so small a circle, occupied by so many persons, who were 
inconveniently packed together, there was not room for a child 
of the size of a doll, or for the smallest piece of machinery, to 
operate. But we need not speculate on what might be done b^ 
skilful contrivances in confines so narrow, since the question i& 
removed out of the region of conjecture by the fact, that, upon 
holding up the instrument myself in one hand, in the open room, 



with the full light upon it, similar strains were emitted, the 
regular action of the accordion going on without any visible 
agency. And I should add that, during the loud and vehement 
passages, it became so difficult to hold, in consequence of the ex- 
traordinary power with which it was played from below, that I was 
obliged to grasp the top with both hands. This experience 
was not a solitary one. I witnessed the same result on diflferent 
occasions, when the instrument was held by others. 

** It is not my purpose to chronicle all the phenomena of the 
evening, but merel;^to touch upon some of the most prominent ; 
and that which follows, and which brought us to the conclusion 
of the sdance, is distinguished from the rest by this peculiarity, 
— that it takes us entirely out of that domain of the marvellous 
in which the media are inanimate objects. 

" Mr. Home was seated next to the window. Through the 
semi-darkness his head was dimly visible against the curtains, 
and his hands might be seen in a faint white heap before him. 
Presently, he said, in a quiet voice, *My chair is moving; I am 
off the ground : don't notice me ; talk of something else,' or 
words to that effect. It was very difficult to restrain the curios- 
ity, not unmixed with a more serious feeling, which these few 
words awakened; but we talked, incoherently enough, upon 
some indifferent topic. I was sitting nearly opposite to Mr. 
Home ; and I saw his hands disappear from the table, and his 
head vanish into the deep shadow beyond. In a moment or two 
more he spoke again. This time his voice was in the air above 
our heads. He had risen from his chair to a height of four or 
five feet from the ground. As he ascended higher, he described his 
position, which at first was perpendicular, and afterwards became 
horizontal. He said he felt as if he had been turned in the gen- 
tlest manner, as a child is turned in the arms of a nurse. In a 
moment or two more, he told us that he was going to pass across 
the window, against the gray, silvery light of which he would be 
visible. We watched in profound stillness, and saw his figure 
pass from one side of the window to the other, feet foremost, 
lying horizontally in the air. He spoke to us as he passed, and 


told US that he would turn the reverse way, and recross the 
window; which he did. His own tranquil confidence in the 
safety of what seemed from below a situation of the most novel 
peril, gave confidence to everybody else ; but, with the strongest 
nerves, it was impossible not to be conscious of a certain sensa- 
tion of fear or awe. He hovered round the circle for several 
minutes, and passed, this time perpendicularly, over our heads. 
I heard his voice behind me in the air, and felt something lightly 
brush my chair. It was his foot, which he gave me leave to 
touch. Turning to the spot where it was on the top of the chair, 
I placed my hand gently upon it, when he uttered a cry of pain ; 
""and the foot was withdrawn quickly, with a palpable shudder. 
It was evidently not resting on the chair, but floating; and it 
sprang from the touch as a bird would. He now passed over to 
the farthest extremity of the room; and we could judge by his 
voice of the altitude and distance he had attained. He had 
reached the ceiling, upon which he made a slight mark, and 
soon afterwards descended, and resumed his place at the table. 
An incident which occurred during this atrial passage, and 
imparted a strange solemnity to it, was that the accordion, which 
we supposed to be on the ground under the window, close to us, 
played a strain of wild pathos in the air from the most distant 
corner of the room. 

" I give the driest and most literal account of these scenes, 
rather than run the risk of being carried away into descriptions 
which, however true, might look like exaggerations. But the 
reader can understand, without much assistance in the way of 
suggestion, that at such moments, when the room is in deep 
twilight, and strange things are taking place, the imagination is 
ready to surrender itself to the belief that the 
is inhabited by supernatural presences. Then is heard the tread 
of spirits, with velvet steps, across the floor; then the ear catches 
the plaintive murmur of the departed child, whispering a tender 
cry of * Mother I * through the darkness ; and then it is that forms 
of dusky vapor are seen in motion, and colored atmospheres rise 
round the figures that form that circle of listeners and watchers. 



I exclude all euch sights and sounds because they do not admit 
of direct and satisfactory evidence, and because no sufficient 
answer can be made to the objection, that fhey may be the 
unconscious work of the imagination. 

" Palpable facts, witnessed by many people, stand on a widely 
dififerent ground. If the proofs of their occurrence be perfectly 
legitimate, the nature of the facts themselves cannot be admitted 
as a valid reason for refusing to accept them as facts. Evidence, 
if it be otherwise trustworthy, is not invalidated by the unlikeli- 
hood of that which it attests. What is wanted here, then, is to 
treat facts as facts, and not to decide the question over the head 
of the evidence. 

"To say that certain phenomena are incredible, is merely to 
say that they are inconsistent with the present state of our 
knowledge ; but, knowing how imperfect dur knowledge is, we 
are not, therefore, justified in asserting that they are impossible. 
The * failures * which have occurred at siances are urged as 
proofs that the whole thing is a cheat. If such an argument be 
worth noticing, it is sufficient to say that ten thousand failures 
do not disprove a single fact. But it must be evident that, as we 
do not know the conditions of * success,* we cannot draw any 
argument from * failures.' We often hear people say that they 
might believe such a thing, if such another thing were to hap- 
pen ; making assent to a particular fact, by an odd sort of logic, 
depend upon the occurrence of something else. * I will believe,* 
for example, says a philosopher of this stamp, * that a table has 
risen from the ground, when I see the lamp-posts dancing qua- 
drilles. Then, tables? Why do these things happen to tables?' 
Why, that is one of the very matters which it is desirable to 
investigate, but which we shall never know any thing about so 
long as we ignore inquiry. 

" And, above all, of what use are these wonderful manifesta- 
tions? What do they prove? What benefit have they conferred 
on the world ? Sir John Herschel has answered these questions 
with a weight of authority which is final. * The question. Cut 
bonof — to what practical end and advantage do your researches 


tend? — is one which the speculative philosopher, who loves 
knowledge for its own sake, and enjoys, as a rational being 
should enjoy, the mere contemplation of harmonious and mutu- 
ally dependent truths, can seldom hear without a sense of 
humiliation. He feels that there is a lofty and disinterested 
pleasure in his speculations, which ought to exempt them from 
such questioning. But,' adds Sir John, * if he can bring himself 
to descend from this high but fair ground, and justify himself, 
his pursuits, and his pleasures, in the eyes of those around him, 
he has only to point to the history of all science, where specula- 
tions, apparently the most unprofitable, have almost invariably 
been those from which the greatest practicable applications have 

"The first thing to be done is to collect and verify facts. But 
this can never be done if we insist upon refusing to receive any 
facts, except such as shall appear to us likely to be true, according 
to the measure of our intelligence and knowledge. My object is 
to apply this truism to the case of the phenomena of which we 
have been speaking; an object which I hope will not be over- 
looked by any persons who may do me the honor to quote this 

Of this account, Dr. J. M. Gully (known to many American 
as well as English patients), who was present at the sdance, and 
the neighbor of Mr. Bell, says, " I can state with the greatest 
positiveness that the record is, in every particular, correct ; and 
that no trick, machinery, sleight-of-hand, or other artistic con- 
trivance, produced what we heard and beheld. ... I may add 
that the writer omits to mention several curious phenomena. A 
distinguished littirateur^ who was present, asked the supposed 
spirit of his father whether he would play his favorite ballad for 
us. Almost immediately the flute-notes of the accordion (which 
was on the floor) played through, * Ye banks and braes of Bonnie 
Doon,' which the gentleman assured us was his father's favorite 
air, whilst the flute was his father's favorite instrument. He then 
asked for another favorite air, not Scotch, of hi« father's, and 
* The Last Rose of Summer' was played in the same note. This, 
the gentleman told us, was the air to which he had alluded." 



Mr. C. F. Varlej, the electrician, in a letter dated May 7th, 
1868, gives an account of a sitting at his own house, with Mr. 
Home ; when a large ottoman, capable of seating eight persons, 
was moved all over the room, and a side-table was driven up to 
him by invisible means; Mr. V. having hold of both Mr. Home's 
hands and legs at the time. ** Imposture'," says Mr. V., "was 

In the third chapter of the Book of Daniel, we read that King 
Nebuchadnezzar caused three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and 
Abednego, to be bound and cast into a burning, fiery furnace. 
But a fourth form, like unto "the Son of God," was seen walk- 
ing with the three, loose from their bonds, in tl(ie fire. " And the 
princes, governors, and captains, and the lijng's counsellors, 
being gathered together, saw these men upon whose bodies the 
fire had no power, nor was a hair of their head singed, neither 
were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on 

Investigators into modern spiritual phenomena will not ques- 
tion the literal truth of this narrative. The facts have been 
paralleled repeatedly during the last twenty years. 

The ordeal by fire is of great antiquity. It was known to the 
Greeks. In one of the plays of Sophocles, a suspected person 
declares himself ready " to handle hot iron, and to walk over 
fire " in proof of his innocence. 

Blackstone, the great legal authority, writes, "Fire-ordeal 
was performed either by taking up in the hand, unhurt, a piece 
of red-hot iron, of one, two, or three pounds* weight; or else by 
walking, barefoot and blindfold, over nine red-hot ploughshares, 
laid lengthwise at unequal distances ; and if the party escaped 
being hurt, he was adjudged innocent; but if it happened other- 
wise, he was then condemned as guilty. By this method. Queen 
Emma, the mother of Edward the Confessor, is mentioned to 
have cleared her character when suspected of familiarity with 
Alwyn, Bishop of Winchester." 

The ordeal was accompanied with religious service, within con- 
secrated walls ; and the solemnity with which the Church super- 



intended the appeal to Heaven invested it with a sacred char- 
acter. A form of ritual was appointed by ecclesiastical author- 
ity. It will be familiar to many readers, from its being given 
by Sir Walter Scott in the historical Notes to his ** Fair Maid of 

The theory that the exemption, in these cases, from harm by 
fire was the result of trick, or fraud, or the contrivance ot 
priestcraft; that chemical agencies were applied to protect the 
body from the natural effects of fire ; that some liniment was used 
lo anoint the soles of the feet ; that asbestos was mixed with a 
composition to cover the skin ; that the hands were protected by 
asbestos gloves, so made as to imitate the skin, — is all pure 
supposition. There is no evidence to support it: it is simple 
conjecture as to how it is supposed these things might have been 
done, not evidence as to how they really were done. To prevent 
the defendant from preparing his hands by art, and in order to 
ascertain the result of the ordeal, his hands were covered up 
and sealed during the three days which preceded and followed 
the fiery application ; and it is an entirely gratuitous conjecture 
that those in whose care the accused was placed made use of 
these opportunities to apply preventives to those whom they 
wished to acquit, and to bring back the hands to their natural 
condition. ** Even were the clergy, generally, base enough, and 
impious enough," says Mr. Shorter, **to resort to these juggling 
tricks, and blasphemously appeal to Heaven with a lie in their 
mouths, and with the consciousness of so monstrous a fraud, 
this could scarcely have been done without the connivance of 
magistrates and civil rulers, who were not always well disposed 
to the Church, but not unfrequently looked upon the ecclesiasti- 
cal authorities with a jealous eye." 

The instances are quite numerous in which American mediums 
have thrust their hands into the flames of hot fire, and held 
them there for a minute or more. 

At a sdance in London, in i860, in the presence of several per- 
sons (whose names are at the service of the curious), Mr. Home, 
being entranced, did, in the presence of all, lay his head on the 



burning coals, where it remained several moments, he sustain- 
ing no injury : not a hair of his head was singed. 

A writer, to whose intelligence and veracity Mr. Shorter* 
bears testimony, has Witnessed this fire-test several times ; and, 
to bring up our chain of evidence to this year of grace 1868, we 
quote from his letter, of March of that year, to Mr. S. : — 

" The evening on which the phenomena I am about to relate 
occurred, had been full of interest, several very remarkable 
manifestations having taken place : such as the absorption of 
water by an unseen agency, and the retention of water in an 
open-necked bottle, though the same was inverted and violently 
moved and swung about. Mr. Home, who was all the time in a 
deep trance, now poured several drops of water upon his finger- 
points ; and I noticed a slight jet of steam rise, hissingly, from 
the ends of his fingers, and accompanied by flames of electric 
light, or odic, of a violet, bluish color, half an inch to an inch 
in length, much resembling the drawings given in Reichen- 
bach*s works. Still continuing in a trance, Mr. Home now 
approached the fire, and, kneeling down before the hearth, pro- 
ceeded to explain how great the power of spiritual beings was 
over matter, not because they worked miracles, but from their 
superior chemical knowledge ; adding, * We gladly have shown 
you our power over fluids: our power over solids is as great. 
Now see how I handle burning coal ; * then laying hold of the 
burning back of coal in the hearth with his hands, he deliber- 
ately broke it asunder; and, taking a large lump of incandescent 
coal int0 the palm of his hand (the size of an orange), Mr. Home 

arose and walked up to Mrs. , whose alarm at what she 

was witnessing had quite unbalanced her. / examined his hand 
and wrist; the heat was so intense that it struck through the 
back of his hand, all but scorching his wristband; and Mr. 
Home then, addressing Mrs. , said, 'That is a burning 

* Under the Latinized name of Thomas Brevior, Mr. Thomas Shorter, of Ix>ndon, 
a man of most unimpeachable integrity, and of rare ability, has contributed to the 
literature of Spmtnalism uaat of the most valuable writings with which it has been 

MR. home's fire-test. 


coal, A ; it is a burning coal ; feel the heat of his hand. A 

burning coal will not hurt Daniel ! — have faith ! * / closely 
examined his hand, and by the light of the glowing" coal I could 
trace every line in the palm of the hand. The skin was not, as 
will be surmised, covered by a glove, or steeped in a solution 
of alum : it was as clean as soap and water could make it. Mr. 
Home now explained that spiritual beings had the power of 
abstracting heat as a distinctive element; and to prove this he 
said, now mark: — 

*' * We will cool it now, — draw out the heat.* My doubts were 
by this time thoroughly aroused : I closely watched the process. 
On laying hold of the coal, which had become black, I found it 
to be comparatively cooled ; and, taking it from his hand, I ex- 
amined it carefully ; s6 also the skin of his hand. At his request, 
I returned the cokl into the palm of his hand ; almost instanta- 
neously, the heat returned; not to incandescence, only the 
caloric. On applying my hand to the coal, I burnt myself, and 
took conviction at the cost of a slight injury. I cannot say I 
doubted any more. The scrutiny I had submitted the hand 
of Mr. Home to precluded this; but, desirous of making cer- 
tain of the fact of an unprotected surface of the hand of the 
medium being * fire-proof,* I took Mr. Home's hand, rubbed it, 
moistened it; not a trace of any foreign matter, and, strange 
enough, no smell of smoke, or the burnt smell of fire observa- 
ble. Mr. Home, who was still in a trance, smiled good-temper- 
edly at my persevering efforts to undo my own conviction. . . . 

" On another evening, Mr. Home, after he had shownnus some 
truly remarkable phenomena, all whilst in a trance, knelt down 
before the hearth: deliberately arranging the bed of burning 
coal with his hands, he commenced fanning away the flames; 
then, to our horror and amazement, placed his face and head in 
the flames^ which appeared to form a bed, upon which his face 
rested. I narrowly watched the phenomenon, and could see the 
flames touch his hair. On withdrawing his face from the flames, 
I at once examined his hair ; not a fibre burnt or scorched^ — un- 
scathed he came out from the fire-test, a true medium. 



" I am aware that great incredulity will reward my narrative. 
I give what I have seen, as a fact, refraining from explanation. 

"That the fire-test has played its part in the records of every 
race of people, the veriest tyro in history knows. Fire-test was 
tiie crucial test of religious fanatics, whose unreasoning ortho- 
doxy sought strength by imitating the wondrous phenomenon I 
have just been recording." 

Thus, then, the credibility of the narratives from the Hebrew 
Scriptures is confirmed by, and they in turn confirm, the similar 
narratives which we find in various countries and centuries, even 
to our own. Their range is too extensive, many of them are too 
circumstantial and well attested, the testimony to the facts is 
too clear, too independent and concurrent, to permit us to assign 
them wholly to imposture. Make what large and liberal abate- 
ment you will for fraud on the one hand, and credulity on the 
other, you cannot altogether dispose of the question in that 
way ; and any attempt to do so can only be fitly characterized 
as itself an experiment on the credulity of mankind. 

Another extraordinary experience, of which Mr. Home has 
been the subject, is the elongation and shortening of his body. 
This was a phenomenon not unknown to the ancients, and to 
inquirers into the facts of witchcraft. Jamblichus, who flour- 
ished in the fourth century after Christ, writes, "The signs of 
those that are inspired are multiform. Sometimes there are 
pleasing harmonies, &c. . . . Again, the body is seen to be 
taller or larger, or is elevated, or borne aloft through the air; 
or "I'le contraries of these are seen to take place about it." 

Mr. H. D. Jencken, of Norwood, England, communicates, 
under date of December, 1867, his experiences at four seances, at 
which the body of Mr. D. D. Home was elongated and short- 
ened; and on all these occasions Mr. J. used his utmost en- 
deavor to make certain of the fact. On two of them, he had the 
amplest opportunity of examining Mr. Home, and measuring 
the actual elongation and shortening. At one, the extension 
appeared to take place from the waist ; and the clothing separated 
Mr. J., who is six feet, hardly reached up 


to Mr. Home's shoulder. Walking to and fro, Mr. Home es- 
pecially called attention to the fact of his feet being firmly 
planted on the ground. 

"He then," says Mr. J., "grew shorter and shorter, until he 
only reached my shoulder, his waistcoat overlapping to his hip. 
. . . Encouraging every mode of testing the truth of this mar- 
vellous phenomenon, Mr. Home made me hold his feet, whilst 

the Hon. Mr. placed his hands on his head and shoulders. 

The elongation was repeated three times. Twice, whilst he was 
standing, the extension, measured on the wall by the Hon. 

Mr. , showed eight inches; the extension at the waist, 

as measured by Mr. , was six inches ; and the third time 

the elongation occurred, Mr. Home was seated next to Mrs. 

, who, placing her hand on his head, and her feet on /its 

feet, had the utmost difficult}^ in keeping her position, as Mr. 
Home's body grew higher and higher; the extreme extension 
reached being six inches." 

" I could name many," writes the well-known Mrs. S. C. Hall, 
" who have been lifted out of the slough of materialism by, in 
the first instance, seeing the marvellous manifestations that 
arise from Mr. Home's mediumship." And she adds, " Medium- 
ship is a mystery we cannot fathom, nor understand why the 
power should be delegated to one more than to another." 

But it is equally perplexing why other gifts should be dele- 
gated to one person and not to another; why Mozart should be 
a consummate musician at five years of age, and another person 
should not, at fifty, be able to tell one tune from another ; why 
an idiot boy should possess an astonishing power of computa- 
tion, and another person, well-end<f«ired in most respects, should 
not be able to do in a week what the other will do in a few 

A certain " secularist" denies all authority to instinct in sup- 
plying hopes of a future life, inasmuch as he does not happen to 
be conscious of the existence in himself of that instinct which 
others undoubtedly have in a strong degree. But it is just as 
irrational for a man to deny immortality to others, because he 



himself msLy be unconscious of those transcendent faculties 
which are developed in mediums, as it would be for him to 
deny, because of his own deficiencies as a mathematician or a 
musician, the possibility of the existence of such mortals as 
Newton and Beethoven. 

** Why has not Providence made the possession of all good 
things universal and unexceptional it may be asked. In other 
words, Why has not God made all intelligences perfect like 
himself? Why does he permit any existence but his own ? The 
advocate of the theory of pre-existence says we bring our facul- 
ties from our anterior states ; so that what we make our own 
we keep. 

It is inscrutable, and seems unjust, that Providence should 
give my neighbor a faculty, and deny it to me / especially when 
I greatly desire and covet it. We cannot explain why Provi- 
dence should be so partial ; but let us not, on that account^ deny 
the fact. Because Swedenborg, or the Seeress of Prevorst, or 
Andrew Jackson Davis, or Daniel Home, or Emma Hardinge 
may see a spirit, and we may not, let us not jump to the conclu- 
sion that they are either dupes or liars; especially when they 
prove to us, as they do, that they possess powers of prevision, or 
clairvoyance, which we do not possess (at least in our normal 
state), and which are such as we ascribe only to spirits. 

There may be a faculty for apprehending spiritual truths, and 
for communicating with spiritual beings, just as there is for 
grasping the fundamental principles of mathematical or musical 
science. Where the faculty is deficient, let us beware how we 
deny the rightfulness of its existence in others, — pronouncing 
it a mere excrescence uporf the human soul, to be removed by 
the surgery of those "secular" doctors, who think to cure the 
great heart of humanity of the hope of rejoining the loved ones 
gone before. 



" When a man is so fugitive and unsettled, that he will not stand to the verdict of 
his own faculties, one can no more fasten any thing upon him than he can write in the 
water, or tie knots of the wind." — Henry More, 

A N elaborate work on Salem Witchcraft, from the pen of the 
Rev. Charles W. Upham, an esteemed Unitarian clergy- 
man, was published in Boston, U.S., in 1867. Of it the " Edin- 
burgh Review" (July, 1868) remarks, ** No more accurate piece 
of history has ever been written." 

Accurate in its facts it may be, and yet of questionable accuracy 
in the construction it puts on them. 

If there is any thing in human history that is established by 
human testimony, it is the occurrence, in all the ages of which 
we have any authentic record, of phenomena, still familiar to 
multitudes, but which are now denied by a large class of minds; 
not because the phenomena are not vouched for by abundant 
testimony, but because they do not happen to accord with indi- 
vidual notions of the possible or the actual. 

Sir William Blackstone did not depart from this world till four 
years after the declaration of American Independence. He was 
the contemporary of our immediate ancestors. His " Commen- 
taries on Law and Testimony" are still so highly esteemed, that 
they have not to this day been superseded as the first work 
proper to be placed in the hands of the law student. Few men 
better qualified to weigh and scrutinize testimony, at once in a 
practical and philosophical spirit, have ever lived ; and, on the 
subject of Witchcraft, Blackstone remarks, in the fourth book of 


his Commentaries, "To deny the possibility, nay, actual exist- 
ence of witchcraft and sorcery, is at once flatly to contradict the 
revealed Word of God in various passages of both the Old and 
New Testament; and the thing itself is a truth to which every 
nation in the world hath borne testimony, either by examplei 
seemingly well attested^ or by prohibitory laws, which, at least, 
suppose the possibility of commerce with evil spirits." 

Mr. Lecky, in his "History of Rationalism" (1864), shows 
^ that the testimony establishing the facts of witchcraft is of the 
most irresistible character. The accumulations of evidence are 
such as to amaze the skeptical student. "The wisest men in 
Europe shared in the belief of these facts ; the ablest defended it ; 
the best were zealous foes of all who assailed it. For hundreds 
of years no man of any account rejected it. Lord Bacon could 
not divest himself of it. Shakespeare accepted it, as did the 
most enlightened of his contemporaries. Sir Thomas Browne 
declared that those who denied the existence of witchcraft were 
not only infidels, but also, by implication, atheists." 

The phenomena of witchcraft were real enough for the author- 
ities in England and Scotland to burn the supposed witches by 
thousands; for Geneva (1515) to burn five hundred in three 
months ; for the diocese of Como in Italy to slaughter one thou- 
sand ; for a single diocese in France to destroy more than could 
be reckoned; for the little town of Salem in Massachusetts to 
put to death some of its best men and women. 

All at once a re-action in public opinion took place, and the 
belief in witchcraft declined. From one extreme men went to 
the other. The re- action was at first not so much against the 
facts as against the fanatifcal construction put upon them ; but 
the general discredit soon involved both. An unfavorable public 
opinion undoubtedly checked the development of mediums for 
the phenomena. Grief and indignation succeeded the wild cre- 
dulity that had made innocent parties responsible for acts, the 
interpretation of which was to be found in a purely scientific 
study of the matter, free from all religious prepossession. 

The marvels of witchcraft, as they were developed in Salem, 


and are recorded by Upham, were of the same class with those 
phenomena which the present writer and thousands of other 
persons have witnessed, during the last thirty years, in cases of 
somnambulism, whether induced by mesmerism or independent 
of that influence, and, in the more recent manifestations, through 
persons called mediums. In the Salem phenomena there were 
violent convulsions of the bodies of those afflicted, especially 
when the «upposed witch was near. There were surprising and 
apparently superhuman exhibitions of muscular strength. Vio- * 
lent motions in objects around, as if attracted and impelled by 
some mysterious force, were witnessed. A staff, an iron hook, 
shoes, keys, and even a chest, were seen to move, as if tossed by 
an invisible hand. A bed, on which a sufterer lay, shook most 
violently, even when several persons were seated on it. Stones 
were hurled against houses and persons : articles of iron, pewter, 
and brass were tossed about, a candlestick being thrown down, 
a spit flying up chimney, and a pressing-iron, a stirrup, and 
even a small anchor, being moved ; of which facts many persons 
were eye-witnesses. 

Mysterious rappings were also heard. Audible scratchings 
on the bedstead of a person affected were made. A drumming 
on the boards was heard; and a voice seemed to say, "We 
knock no more I we knock no more ! " A frying-pan rang so 
loud that the people at a hundred yards' distance heard it. 
Sounds as of steps on the chamber-floor were heard. Divers 
noises as of the clattering of chairs and stools were heard in an 
adjoining room. Very varied are these instances. 

Wonderful potvers of thought and grace of expression were 
exhibited by the most ignorant and uneducated, and by persons 
of ordinary, and even of small, mental capacity. Of one person 
it is recorded, ** He had a speech incessant and voluble, and, as 
was judged, in various languages." Of a little girl it is men- 
tioned, " She argued concerning death, with paraphrases on the 
thirty-first Psalm, in strains that quite amazed us." 

Cases of mysterious knowledge, like those now called clairvoy- 
ance, are reported, even by the coolest witnesses. Brattle men- 



tions that several persons were accused by the afflicted whom 
the afflicted never had known." Little girls thus affected de- 
scribed, as their tormentors, persons they had never seen ; and by 
these descriptions the parents or friends of the girls sought out 
the accused, even in remote places. 

Perhaps the most consistent explanation of this implication of 
innocent persons, by the children, and others who were the 
mediums on the occasion, is, that they were under the control of 
mischievous and malignant spirits, who found their pleasure in 
fixing suspicion on the wrong parties. 

If we may believe Swedenborg, spirits are very human in their 
weaknesses. In his spiritual diary, he says, "When spirits 
begin to speak with 'man, he must beware, lest he believe them 
in any thing; for they say almost any thing. Things are fabri- 
cated by them, and they lie. ... If man then listens and be- 
lieves, they press on, and deceive and seduce in divers ways." 

Of one of the little daughters of John Goodwin, of Boston, 
Mather says, " Perceiving that her troublers understood Latin, 
some trials were thereupon made whether they understood 
Greek and Hebrew, which, it seems, they also did; but the 
Indian languages they did not seem so well to understand." 

We have repeatedly known a medium to be lifted in her chair 
from the floor on to a table, where there was no means of its 
being done by any known human agency, or mechanical con- 
trivance. How like is this to the testimony of respectable citi- 
zens of Boston in 1693, in the case of Margaret Rule! "I do 
testify," says Samuel Aves, " that I have seen Margaret Rule 
lifted up from her bed, wholly by an invisible force, a great 
way towards the top of the room where she lay." " We can 
also testify to the substance of what is above written," say Robert 
Earle, John Wilkins, and Daniel Williams. " We do testify" — 
to a precisely similar occurrence, say Thomas Thornton and 
William Hudson.* 

" We have in history," says Calmet, " several instances of 
persons full of religion an.d piety, who, in the fervor of their 

• See Calef s " More Wonders of the Invisible World," p. 75. 


orisons, have been taken up into the air, and have remained 
there for some time. We have known a good monk, who rises 
sometimes from the ground, and remains suspended, without 
wishing it. I know a nun to whom it has happened, in spite of 
herself, to be thus raised up." 

He mentions the same thing as occurring to St. Philip of Neri, 
St. Catherine Colembina, and to Loyola, who was " raised up 
from the ground to the height of two feet, while his body shone 
like light." 

Savonarola, before his tragical death at the stake, and while 
absorbed in devotion, was seen to remain suspended at a con- 
siderable height from the floor of his dungeon. " The historical 
evidence of this fact," says Elihu Rich, in the " Encyclopaedia 
Metropolitan a," " is admitted by his recent biographer." 

Indeed, the authentic instances of this phenomenon are far too 
numerous to mention. 

Of certain children supposed to be bewitched, Mr. Upham 
writes, " The convulsions and paroxysms of these girls ; their 
eyes remaining fixed, bereft of all light and expression; their 
screams, the sounds of the motions and voices of the invisible 
beings they heard ; their becoming pallid before apparitions, of 
course seen only by themselves, &c., — were the result of trickery, 
was nothing but acting, but such perfect acting as to make all 
who witnessed their doings to believe it to be real. They would 
address and hold colloquy with spectres and ghosts; and the 
responses of the unseen beings would be audible to the fancy of 
the bewildered crowd. . . . But none could discover any 
imposture in the girls, . . . who had by long practice become 
wonderful adepts in the art of jugglery and probably of ventril- 

According to Mr. Upham, the witchcraft which manifested 
itself in Salem, in 1692, was attributable ** to childish sportive- 
ness ; to the mischievous proceedings of the children in the Rev. 
Mr. Parris's family " ! 

There is an incredulity which it requires a good deal of cre- 
dulity to arrive at in the face of notorious facts. Even the 



"Edinburgh Review" — eulogistic as it is, and, for the most part, 
justly, of Mr. Upham — rebukes him for confining his view, 
almost exclusively, to the theory of fraud and falsehood, as 
affording the true key in dealing with these phenomena. 

** Mr. Upham," s&ys the reviewer, " is evidently very far indeed 
from understanding or suspecting how much light is thrown on 
the darkest part of his subject, by physiological researches car- 
ried on to the hour when he laid down his pen. ... In another 
generation, the science of the human frame may have advanced 
far enough to elucidate some of the Salem mysteries, together 
with some obscure facts in all countries, which cannot be denied, 
while as yet they cannot be understood." 

So far so good. But the reviewer, while reluctantly admitting 
facts that Spiritualism has forced upon the attention of the 
world, cannot avoid going out of his way to speak an ill word 
of those who have adopted the spiritual hypothesis, and to 
bring against them the charge of making several thousand luna- 
tics for our asylums ; a charge which the statistics of those asy- 
lums have repeatedly disproved, and which, if it were true, 
would be no argument against the prosecution of truth, any 
more than the fact that many thousands become insane from 
religious excitement would be an argument against religion. 

Dr. Maudsley, a writer quoted with approval by the reviewer, 
shows the absurdity of thus charging a morbid tendency of the 
brain, ending in insanity, upon the mere topic, toward which 
the mind may have directed itself at a certain time. This 
"topic" may be dengunced by shallow observers as the exciting 
cause ; but a deeper diagnosis will prove that the true cause lay 
in the cerebral cells. 

The reviewer calls the Spiritualists " a company of fanatics, 
. . . who can form no conception of the modesty and patience 
requisite for the sincere search for truth, . . . who wander in a 
fool's paradise," . . . and who are " partly answerable for the 
tekw«rdness " of conservative men of science. 

•^Wbo excuses accuses," says the proverb ; and the reviewer's 
^■iify for the men of science will be accepted only by simple- 



tons. Here for twenty years have the Spiritualists been pro- 
claiming certain facts and phenomena, which they have called 
upon the savans to investigate. The hypothesis as to the origin 
of these facts, whether mundane or ultra-mundane, had nothing 
to do with the facts themselves. A man who sees Mr. Home 
lifted to the ceiling may believe it was done by a spirit, or by 
a latent force in the individual himself, or in the surrounding 
spectators. All that Spiritualists have said has been, "Come 
and see the fact, and explain it then as you please. But do not 
denounce us as dupes and fanatics for believing the testimony 
of our senses. Do not expect us to be laughed out of the ver- 
dict of our own faculties, as poor Sir David Brewster was, after 
seeing the table move." 

This, it is well known, has been the position of all intelligent 
Spiritualists ; there being many, so-called, who believe simply 
in the facts, without attempting to explain them. And now the 
** Edinburgh Review," seeing that the time is coming when it 
must prepare for a change of base in regard to these facts (as it 
has done in regard to mesmerism), charges it upon the so-called 
Spiritualists, that by their hypothesis they have frightened off 
investigation ! Bold investigators they must be who can be ter- 
rified by an hypothesis. 

The late Dr. William T. G. Morton, *vhen he was told that sul- 
phuric ether would produce, insensibility to pain, w^t on fear- 
lessly and tested the fact, and became a great discoverer. As 
the "Edinburgh Review" would have said of him, "He could 
form no conception of the modesty and patience requisite for the 
sincere search for truth." 

When Kate Fox heard the raps, she said, "Do as I do," and 
found that they were regulated by intelligence. She, too, could 
form no conception of this vaunted " modesty and patience." 
She imagined an hypothesis: she tried it; and the result was 
the production of the phenomenon. 

Subsequent investigators into the phenomena have followed 
her example. They have interrogated the invisible power, what- 
ever it may be, producing the manifestations ; and, by adopting 



the hypothesis that it was intelligent, and could answer ques- 
tions, they have found that it could do so ; and they have arrived 
at great results, just as other discoverers have, by simply leaning 
on an hypothesis. 

And so when this learned reviewer charges Spiritualism with 
" deluding and disporting itself with a false hypothesis about 
certain mysteries of the human mind," he merely utters words 
of resentment that have no philosophical significance. He 
might as well abuse Columbus for finding America through 
the false hypothesis of its being the eastern end of Asia. If an 
hypothesis is adequate to the desired result, what absurdity to 
denounce a man for using it as a temporary scaffolding on which 
to mount ! 

"Hypotheses," says Novalis, "are nets: only he who throws 
them out will catch any thing." 

But for the earnestness of investigators, a large class of facts, 
discovered, or, rather, rediscovered, by Spiritualism, would 
have been relegated to the oblivion where they have lain for 
ages. To this day, it has been a constant warfare on the part 
of Spiritualists, to establish these facts. Men of science and of 
learning, with here and there an exception, have done all they 
could to discredit and crush them out. 

And now, when the facts number their believers by millions, 
and it beg^s to be impossible to ignore them longer, the 
"Edinburgh Review" — while it timidly admits some of the 
least remarkable of them — would blacken with its harmless 
ink the fair fame of the men through whose intrepidity, fidelity 
to truth, and impenetrability to precisely such sneers as the 
reviewer's, those pregnant facts have become the property of 
science once more. 

And he stigmatizes these men as " fanatics " I Is he aware in 
what company the fanatics now find themselves ? Not to mention 
those eminent men of the last generation, — such as Lavater, the 
physiognomist; Schubert, the philosopher; Goethe, Zschokke, 
GSrres, Oberlin, Von Meyer, Ennemoser, Kerner, and many 
others, who were Spiritualists before the phenomena of 1848, — 



we need but refer to the late Archbishop Whately, the late Lord 
Lyndhurst, the late Mr. Senior, the late Mr. Thackeray, the late 
Mrs. Browning, and other distinguished persons, by whom these 
phenomena were accepted as spiritual. Cardinal Wiseman ad- 
mits them. So do Professor De Morgan, Mr. Robert Chambers ; 
Bishop Clark, of Rhode Island ; Mr. Varley, the electrician ; the 
eloquent Jules Favre, a member of the French Academy ; Gari- 
baldi, Mazzini, and hundreds of eminent men, towards whom for 
this reviewer to affect contempt, would be simply ridiculous. 

But it is only a short distance in the admission of facts that 
he has as yet gone. When, by and by, he is compelled to go 
further, and to accept the most surprising of the phenomena 
recorded in this volume, and to abandon his complacent theory 
that the marvels which Spiritualists proclaim are merely the 
chimera of "an objective world of their own subjective experi- 
ence," he will, we hope, be a little more cautious in his sneers at 
men who, if they had heeded such ridicule as his, would long 
since have been checked in the investigation of facts, so repug- 
nant to the preconceived notions of quarterly reviewers. 

We refer to Mr. Upham's book, simply to call attention to the 
fact, that in his own town of Salem, at the very time he was 
writing a history of witchcraft, in which he sets down as delu- 
sions and tricks certain phenomena that were established as 
true in the minds of judges, juries, clergymen, and magistrates, 
by the overwhelming amount of evidence that was adduced, 
there lived (1865-68), hardly a stone's throw from his own 
house, a young man of the name of Charles H. Foster, born 
in Salem, 1838, through whom similar phenomena, quite as 
remarkable as any in the annals of witchcraft, might have been 
witnessed and fairly tested. Mr. Upham must have known of 
him by reputation ; for Mr. Foster was and is widely celebrated, 
both in America and England, for his marvellous displays of a 
knowledge such as we call spiritual^ inasmuch as it far tran- 
scends all that we can conceive of in our normal state of con- 
sciousness, as accessible to our bodily senses. 

When Justinus Kerner was investigating (1826), through 



Madame HaufF<^ (the Seeress of Prevorst), phenomena belong- 
ing to the same group with those of modern Spiritualism, the 
critics and reviewers, he tells us, instead of coming to see the 
facts for themselves, as they were invited, all rushed home, 
mounted their high stools, and began to write against the phe- 
nomena and everybody connected with them. 

So has it been with Spiritualism ; and now it looks as if the 
reviewers could never forgive the despised "fanatics" for get- 
ting hold of facts in advance of them, and making them commit 
themselves against them. 

Of our own experiences with Mr. Foster, we will record only 
one class ; but with this we have repeatedly been made familiar, 
both at his rooms and our own house. We have reason to 
believe that there are several thousand persons at this time, in 
America and England, who could confirm our experience by 
their own with the same medium. 

Some time in 1861, seeing Mr. Foster's advertisement in the 
newspapers, we called on him at his temporary boarding-place, 
near the United-States Hotel in Boston. We had intimated our 
purpose to no one, either at the moment or previously. We had 
been asked by no one to attend. We had never seen Mr. Foster. 
He had never seen us, as he said and as we believe. We sought 
him simply in his capacity of a professional medium to test his 

He was alone in a small room, and we two remained alone 
during the sitting. The room was about 15 by 15, with two 
windows looking on the area back of the house. The curtains 
were up. It was noonday. There was no possibility of decep- 

At his request, we wrote twelve names of departed friends on 
twelve scraps of paper, and rolled the scraps into pellets. We 
were at liberty to use our own paper, or to tear from what was 
lying on the table. Mr. Foster walked away from us while we 
wrote; and we were careful that he should not see even the 
motion of our hand. 

The paper we used was fine as tissue paper. We folded, and then 



rolled up each piece separately, and pressed it till it was hardly 
larger than a common grape-stone. We placed the pellets on 
the uncovered mahogany of the table, and mixed them up. Mr. 
Foster ran his fingers rapidly over them, without taking up any 
one of them. Then, almost instantly, he pushed one after the 
other towards us, and, as he did so, gave us, without pause or 
hesitation, name after name, until he came to one which was 
a name so unusual, that we know of but two persons alive 
at this moment who bear it. "The name of this person will 
appear on my arm," said Mr. Foster; and, rolling up his sleeve, 
he showed us the name Arria, in conspicuous red letters, on the 
skin of his left arm. 

He had given the names on eight of the pellets correctly in 
their order. 

Having had enough to astonish us for one sitting, we did not 
ask him to do more that day. On many subsequent occasions, 
similar tests of power were given to us by Mr. Foster. 

In this experiment it was impossible that he could get his 
knowledge from our mind. This is a favorite theory of the 
scoffers ; but it will not apply here. We knew, it is true, the 
names that were on the pellets ; but the pellets were so mixed up 
that we could not have told which was which, had our life de- 
pended on it. We might have guessed right once ; but to do it 
eight times in succession was hardly in the range of possibil- 

Where did Mr. Foster get the faculty of telling us what was 
written on each of those pellets ? 

In a pellet on which we had written the name of George Bush^ 
we had added, as a further test of Mr. Foster's clairvoyance, 
these words: "Are these things truly from human spirits ?" 
Seizing a pencil, Mr. F., with a nervous rapidity, wrote off the 
following reply before the pellet had been opened, and before we 
knew the name that was on it: "These communications are 
truly from the spirit-world. And is it not a glorious thought 
thus to be able to communicate with the beloved ones who have 
gone to the far-off spirit-land?" This, though not an exact 



Ttp\y to the inquiry, was near enough to excite astonishment. 
To Rufus Dawes, we wrote, ** Old friend, what shall I think 
of it?" The reply was, "Think it is all right now. It is a 
boon given to man to prove to him the immortality of the soul. 
[Signed] Rufus." 

The replies do not afford any satisfactory evidence of spirit 
identity, nor were the questions framed with that view; but 
what explanation can we give of the faculty that could read in 
every particular pellet, rolled into illegibility as it was, the 
name and the question ? 

The venerable John Ashburner, of London, editor of Reich- 
cnbach*s " Dynamics of Magnetism," and long one of the most 
successful practising physicians in England, has given a narra- 
tive of his experiences in the presence of Mr. Foster. As many 
of these accord with our own, we give them in preference to 
extracts from our own notes. 

*' I have myself," says Dr. Ashburner, " so often witnessed 
spiritual manifestations that I could not, if I were inclined, put 
aside the evidences which have come before me. When Mr. 
Charles Foster was in London, in 1863, he was often in my 
house; and numerous friends had opportunities of witnessing 
the phenomena which occurred in his presence. . . . The second 
morning that he called on me was about two weeks after his 
arrival in England. Accidentally, at the same time arrived at 
my door Lady C. H. and her aunt, wife of the Rev. A. E. I 
urged them to come in, and placed them on chairs at the sides 
of my dining-table. Their names had not been mentioned ; Mr. 
Foster having retired to the further extremity of the room, so as 
not to be able to see what the ladies wrote. I induced them each 
to write, upon separate slips of paper, six names of friends who 
had departed this world. These they folded into pellets, which 
were placed together. 

♦* Mr. Foster, coming back to the table, immediately picked up 
a pellet, and addressing himself to Mrs. A. E., * Alice,* he said, 
which made the lady start, and ask how he knew her name. 
He replied, * Your cousin, John Whitney, whose name you wrote 



on that little piece of paper, stands by your side, and desires me 
to say, that ha often watches over you, and reads your thoughts, 
which are always pure and good. He is delighted at the tender- 
ness and care which you exhibit in the educJition of your chil- 
dren.' Then he turned towards me, and said, * Alice's uncle is 
smiling benignantly, as he is looking towards you. He says, 
you and he were very intimate friends.' I said, * I should like 
to know the name of my friend ; ' and Mr. Foster instantly re- 
plied *Gaven. His Christian name will appear on my right 

*' The arm was bared ; and there appeared, in red letters, fully 
one inch and a quarter long, the name William raised on the 
skin of his arm. Certainly, William Gaven was my dear old 
friend, and the uncle of the lady whose name is Alice. How, 
without yielding to the truth of the assertion of Mr. Foster, that 
he was a discerner of spirits, the fact could be known to a com- 
plete stranger, who had all his life resided in America, and could 
know nothing, even of the names of the ladies whom I had 
brought into my dining-room from the street-door, where I 
had accosted them, their names not having been known to my 
servants, is a phenomenon well calculated to puzzle the intellect 
of any one not having faith in Spiritualism. Mr. Foster's arm 
retained, on the surface of his skin, the raised, red letters for fully 
five minutes. I applied a powerful magnifying lens over them, 
and my two young friends and I watched them until they sub- 
sided and disappeared. It has been said that the skin was 
scratched by a pointed lead-pencil, and I knew some persons 
who wrote on their arms, and succeeded in raising red letters ; 
but the letters did not so quickly subside, and in some instances 
left sore scratches, marks or tokens of the want of common 

Mr. Foster next addressed himself to Lady C, whom he had 
never seen before in his life, until he met her in my dining-room. 

*Your mother,' said he, * the Marchioness of , stands by 

your side, and desires to give you her fond blessing and very 
affectionate love.* He added, * Lady C, you wrote on a piece 



of paper I hold here the name of Miss Stuart. She stands by 
the side of your mother, and is beaming with delight at the 
sight of her pupil. She was your governess, and was much 
attached to you.' He added, *That charming person, the 
Marchioness, was a great friend of the doctor's. She is so 
pleased to find you all here ! Her Christian name is to appear 
on my arm.* Mr. Foster drew up his sleeve, and there appeared 
in raised, red letters, on the skin, the name Barbara, which 
subsided and disappeared gradually, as the former name William 
had done. Here were cases in which it was quite impossible 
that the medium could have known any single fact relating to 
the families or to the intimacies of any of the persons present. 
I had myself formed his acquaintance only two days, and the 
ladies had arrived from a part of the country with which he 
could not possibly be acquainted. It may be inquired very fairly, 
how it is proposed to connect such a narrative with any philo- 
sophical view of our mental functions ? One need be at no 
loss for a reply ; but it is more advisable at present to multiply 
our facts. 

"My father was, in his youth, addicted to the pursuit of 
knowledge, and besides physics and chemistry, although he 
never proposed to become a professional physician, he studied 
anatomy at the Borough Hospitals, and had the late Mr. Cline 
for his teacher, and Sir Astley Cooper for his fellow-student. 
Mr. Foster had passed his life of twenty-four years in America. 
The son of a captain in a merchant ship, sailing from and to the 
port of Salem, in Massachusetts, he had never heard of Sir 
Astley Cooper. One evening, in my drawing-room, a hand, as 
palpable sis my own hand, appeared a little above the table, and 
soon rested gently upon the thumb and four fingers on the sur- 
face of it. Several persons were seated round the table. Mr. 
Foster, addressing me, said, *The person to whom that hand 
belongs is a friend of yours. He is a handsome man, with a 
portly presence, and is very much gratified to see you, and to 
renew his acquaintance with you. Before He mentions his name, 
he would like to know if you remember his calling your father 


his old friend, and yourself his young friend.* I had forgotten 
it; but I remembered it the moment the name was mentioned. 
* He calls himself Sir Astley Cooper,* said Mr. Foster, * and 
wishes me to tell you, that certain spirits havfe the power, by the 
force of will, of creating, from elements of organic matter in 
the atmosphere, fac-similes of the hands they possessed on 
earth.* Shortly, the hand melted into air. Then Mr. Foster 
said, * Two friends of yours desire to be remembered to you. 
They accompany Sir Astley Cooper: one was a military sur- 
geon, and went to Canada. He was at Edinburgh your fellow- 
student. He calls himself Bransby Cooper. The other was 
your intimate friend, George Young, who has communicated 
with you once before, since he left your sphere.* 

** It would not be difficult to multiply facts relating to the 
spiritual manifestations of this very extraordinary medium. 
M^ friend, Sir William Topham, well known among all who 
have investigated mesmeric phenomena, as the person who 
induced on Wombwell, at the Wellow Hospital, that profound 
unconscious sleep, which enabled Mr. Squire Wood to amputate 
a most excruciatingly painful limb, above the knee, without the 
patient's knowledge, asked me to give him the opportunity of 
inquiring minutely into the phenomena, respecting which our 
friend EUiotson * and I were so completely divided in opinion. 
Sir William, with the concurrence of Foster, fixed an early day 
for dinner. There were only the three of us at the dinner-table. 
The servant placed the soup- tureen on the table. No sooner 
had I helped my friends to soup, than Sir William, who had 
preferred the seat with his back to the fire, requested permission 
to alter his mind, as the fire was too much for him. He went to 
the opposite side of the table, forgetting to take his napkin with 
him. Immediately, a hand, apparently as real as the hand of 
any one of us, appeared, and lifted the napkin into the air gently 
and gracefully, and then dropped it carefully on the table. 

* EUiotson, as we have already seen, after having been a materialist up to hit 
seventieth year, came round finally to Ashbumer's views of the phenomena, and died 
a happy believer in them. 



Almost simultaneously, while we were still engaged over our 
soup, one side of the dining-table was lifted up, as our philo- 
sophic friend Mr. Faraday would conclude, by unseen and 
unconscious muscular energy ; and the moderator lamp did not 
fall from its place on the centre of the table. The decanters, 
saltcellars, wineglasses, knives and forks, water-carafes, tum- 
blers, all remained as they were in their places : no soup was 
spilled; and Faraday's unconscious muscular force, or some 
correlative or conserved agency, prevented the slightest change 
among the correlative ratios of the table furniture, although the 
top sloped to very nearly an angle of forty-five degrees. There 
was a wonderful conservation of my glass, china, and lamp. 
The servant who was waiting upon us stared, lifting up both 
arms, exclaimed, * Law! well, I never! ' and the next minute he 
cried out, * Do, do look at the pictures ! * which, with their ten 
heavy frames, had appeared to strive how far they could quit the 
wall, and endeavor to reach the dinner-table. 

** The appearance of hands was by no means an unusual phe- 
nomenon. One evening, I witnessed the presence of nine hands 
floating over the dining-table. 

" On one occasion, the Hon. Mrs. W. C. and her sister-in-law 
desired to try some experiments in my dunker kamer, a room 
the Baron von Reichenbach had taught me how to darken 
properly for experiments on the od force and the odic light 
emanating from living organized bodies. This room afforded 
opportunities for marvellous manifestations. When the light 
was excluded, the two ladies were seated on one side of a heavy 
rosewood occasional table with drawers, weighing at least seventy 
or eighty pounds ; Mr. Foster and I were on chairs opposite to 
them. Suddenly a great alarm seized Mr. Foster: he grasped 
my right hand, and beseeched me not to quit my hold of him ; 
for he said there was no knowing where the spirits might convey 
him. I held his hand, and he was floated in the air towards the 
ceiling. At one time, Mrs. W. C. felt a substance at her head, 
and, putting up her hands, discovered a pair of boots above her 
head. At last Mr. Foster's atrial voyage ceased, and a new 

MR. c. H. Foster's mediumship. 119 

phenomenon presented itself. Some busts, as large as life, rest- 
ing upon book cupboards seven feet high, were taken from their 
places. One was suddenly put upon Mrs. W. C.'s lap ; others, 
on my obtaining a light, were found on the table. I removed 
these to a corner of the room, and put out the light. Then the 
table was lifted into the air, and there remained for some seconds. 
Then it gently descended into the place it had before occupied, with 
the difference that the top was turned downwards, and rested on 
the carpet. The ladies were the first to perceive that the brass 
casters were upwards. 

** One of these ladies had missed, on another occasion, her 
pocket-handkerchief. Mr. Foster told her she would find it in the 
conservatory behind the back drawing-room. It was behind a 
flower-pot. Mrs. W. C. went up-stairs, and found the handker- 
chief in the spot indicated. A similar event happened a second 
time. The question was. How the pocket-handkerchief could 
travel from the dining-room, all doors being shut, to the floor 
above; where it was deposited on a shelf in the conservatory. 
Mr. Faraday would aver that my facts were corroborative of his 
conservation of force. 

"In that back drawing-room stands a heavy Broadwood's 
semi-grand pianoforte. Mr. Foster, who is possessed of a fine 
voice, was accompanying himself while he sang. Both feet were 
on the pedals, when the pianoforte rose into the air, and was 
gracefully swung in the air from side to side, for at least five or 
six minutes. During this time, the casters were about at the 
height of a foot from the carpet." 

Mr. Foster's first indications of mediumship took place when 
he was about fourteen years old, at the Phillips school in Salem, 
where his attention was arrested by raps near him on his desk 
during school-hours. The next change was to violent noises 
near his Jbed at night, which at once awakened him, and brought 
his parents into his room, where the furniture was found tossed 
about in all directions. At first this happened only in the dark; 
but soon it came in the light, and furniture would be heard 
moving about in rooms where no person in the flesh was 



At his manifestations on one occasion, when letters were 
coming on his skin, two men seized him rudely by the arm to 
discover the trick, as they called it. " We know," said they, 
" that no letters will come on the arm while we hold it." " What 
will you have?" asked Foster. *' Something that will be a test," 
cried they; "something that will fit our case." Immediately, 
while they were" holding the arm, as in a vice, and glaring^iipoh 
it with all their eyes, appeared in large round characters the 
words, Iwo fools I 

Of this phenomenon of stigmata on the flesh, the instances are 
numerous and thoroughly authenticated. Ennemoser, Passa- 
vent, Schubert, and other eminent German physiologists, admit 
the fact as not only established as regards many of the so-called 
saints of the Catholic Cliurch, but in undoubted modern in- 
stances, as in the case of the ecstaticas of the Tyrol, Catherine 
Emmerich, Maria Dorl, and Domenica Lazzari, all of whom 
exhibited the stigmata. The signatures of the foetus are anal- 
ogous facts; and if the mind of the mother can act on an- 
other organism, why, it is asked, should not the minds of 
mediums act on their own ? The fact of the phenomenon 
has been placed by testimony beyond the dispute of any but 
the ignorant. We have witnessed it repeatedly under circum- 
stances where to doubt would have been to reject all rational 
proof as worthless. 

We have spoken of the Salem phenomena of 1692, as analo- 
gous with those of 1868. While we write, additional proof of 
this is offered. Indeed, the candid chronicler will find himself 
embarrassed by the number of confirmatory narratives, old and 

In July, 1868, occurrences of an inexplicable character took 
place in the house of a Mr. Travis at Thorney, a small hamlet 
near Muchelney, and about two miles from the town of Lang- 
port, in England. The following account is from the " Bristol 
[Eng.] Daily Post," of August, 1868 : " It is said that even the 
walls shake at times ; while the doors and windows are opened 
and closed again very frequently in a most forcible manner. 


Pillows and bolsters are taken from beneath the occupants of 
beds. Noises, ranging from the reports of many muskets to the 
distant boom of a field-piece, are heard in different parts of 
the house. Scores of persons attest the accuracy of these state- 
ments. Most of them avow that no human agency could do 
what they have seen done and escape detection. If there is 
any thing true in the doctrines which the Spiritualists preach, 
they may make converts by the hundred in this neighbor- 

Another English journal, the "Western Gazette," of July 31, 
x868, describing these occurrences, remarks, " Of course, a great 
philosopher cannot be expected to investigate a * trumpery ghost 
story,* or a * silly tale of a haunted house.* He knozvs that it is 
impossible for a table to move without hands; and it would, 
therefore, be only a waste of his valuable time to inquire whether 
a table has ever done so or not. This, we fear, is the view 
which too many of our all-knowing savans will take of the 
Muchelney business. But is such a view truly philosophical ? Do 
we know every thing yet? Are there no natural laws or forces 
yet to be discovered? — no exceptions, or apparent exceptions, to 
the operation of known laws to be determined? 

" We may safely assert that it is impossible that one and one 
can ever make three, or that the three angles of a triangle can 
ever make more or less than two right angles ; but, once clear of 
mathematics, we can never be safe in using the word * impossi- 

"A generation that sees two men on opposite sides of the 
globe, conversing with each other by means of an ubiquitous 
agent, that is known only by its effects, can surely believe in 
almost any thing, except the incorrectness of the multiplication- 

**We have no well-defined theory on the subject of these 
phenomena; but we are convinced that there is no trickery in 
this case ; that the phenomena are due to causes of which science 
has, as yet, taught us nothing ; and that we should act in an un- 
philosophical spirit if we rejected the evidence of our own and 



Others* senses because of its apparent inconsistency with the lit- 
tle which we happen to know of nature's laws." 

How much longer will a false conservatism think to put out of 
existence verified facts, like these, by uttering its shrill negative 
cry, shutting its eyes, and burying its ostrich head in the sand! 

We have no sooner come to the last page of this Chapter, than 
a man of science, Mr. Jencken (see page loo), communicates to 
the public, under date of January, 1869, a statement that, at a 
recent meeting of several gentlemen, at Ashley House, London 
(all of whom are ready to verify this account), Mr. Home was 
lifted by some unknown force four feet off the ground. Travel- 
ling thus, suspended in space, he made a circuit round those in 
the room. The levitation lasted from four to five minutes. His 
trance state changing, Mr. Home opened the door and went into 
the corridor. A voice then said, *' He will go out of this win- 
dow and come in at that window." The only one who heard the 

voice was the Hon. ; and he shuddered at the thought 

of a feat which the great height of the third-floor windows ren- 
dered more than ordinarily perilous. The others present, how- 
ever, having closely questioned him as to what he had heard, he 
at first replied, "I dare not tell you; " when, to the amazement 
of all, a voice said, "You must tell; tell directly." The Hon. 

then said, "Yes, yes! terrible to say, he will go out 

at that window and come in at this; do not be frightened, be 
quiet." Mr. Home now re-entered the room, and opening the 
drawing-room window, was pushed out demi-horizontally into 
space, and carried from one window of the drawing-room to the 
furthermost window of the adjoining room. This feat being 
performed at a height of about eighty feet from the ground, 
naturally caused a shudder in all present. 

"Is it not pitiable," asks Mr. J., "that the scientific world 
should keep aloof and refuse to investigate marvellous phe- 
nomena like these?" 



" Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same spirit. . . . Have all the gifts of 
healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?" — 5"/. Paul. 

HE number of persons in the United States through whom 

phenomena similar to those in the case of Mr. Home and 
of Mr. Foster have taken place, is now so large, that to mention 
them all would almost require a volume. Charles Colchester, 
young and of a fine personal appearance, but wayward and infirm 
of purpose, like many similar sensitives, gave us several sittings, 
at which he manifested remarkable powers, not unlike those of 
Mr. Foster. 

We know not how true it is, but Mr. Colchester told us, that 
on his meeting Hermann, the celebrated frestidigitateur-t the 
latter said to him, ** If you can give me the name of my father, 
I will believe that your intelligence is preternatural } for no per- 
son in America, I am convinced, knows that name." Colchester 
at once wrote out the name, Samuel Hermann Radesky ; and 
Hermann said it was right. 

Mr. William Ambisy Colby relates (July 6, 1861) that he 
called on Colchester in New York. " I first asked him," says 
Mr. Colby, "if he could tell me what I had lost. He told me I 
had lost a pocket-book with papers in it of no value ; that it was 
picked from my pocket in a Broadway stage. I then told him 
that he was mistaken; for there was a paper amongst them 
of value. * Oh, no I * s^id Colchester, * I am not mistaken ; but it 
\%you who are mistaken. The paper you have reference to is a 
check for $3x5, which, instead of putting in your wallet, you put 



in jour hat, inside the lining.' I immediately looked in mj hat; 
and) sure enough, the check was there, just where Colchester told 
me it was." 

Here, surely, was information, on the medium's part, quite 
independent of any conscious knowledge in the mind of the 
inquirer. Yet how often we are told, that the medium's knowl- 
edge is always got from the mind of the inquirer! 

In a letter to our friend, Mr. Coleman, of London, Professor 
W. D. Gunning writes (1868) from Boston, as follows in regard 
to Mrs. Cushman, a medium who resides in Charlestown, 
Mass. : ** I visited her house in company with a Boston clergy- 
man. A guitar was laid on my knees, and after a few minutes 
lifted up, held in the air, and played upon by unseen hands. 
This was in full daylight. The concert lasted an hour. It was 
utterly impossible for the lady to touch the strings. No mortal, 
under the circumstances, could have made the music. Of this 
we were both satisfied. We did not decide hastily, but only 
after the fullest investigation. Now, the agent that played the 
guitar, whatever it was, acted wonderfully like a human being. 
We requested a particular tune: it was played; then another: 
that was also played ; and so on for an hour. How could we 
resist the conviction that here, unseen by us, was a spiritual 
being, a man or woman, knowing the music that we knew, 
hearing our words or reading our thoughts, and able, under 
conditions we may not understand, to move material things.? 
* We are compassed about with a cloud of witnesses.' We need 
to return to the early faith, the faith of the founders of Chris- 
tianity, the faith of all great poets of all ages. This age is 
steeped in materialism; but re-action has begun. Men are cry- 
ing out for the knowledge of Eternal Life. With the eloquent 
Bishop of Rhode Island, I hail this influx from the spirit-world 
as a gift of the P^ather, sent in his own good time to his children, 
to wean them from doubt, to confirm them in faith, to take away 
the sting of death by the knowledge that immortality means no 
gauzy abstraction, but real human life." 

In the winter of x86o-6i we tested, on some forty occasions, 


the mediumship of Miss Jennie Lord (now Mrs. Webb), through 
whom physical manifestations, of quite a startling character, 
were produce^. These took place several times at our own house, 
where the possibility of trick or collusion was carefully excluded. 
In two or three instances a friend (the same who wrote the 
incredulous letter from Rochester in Chapter II. of this volume) 
was present, at our invitation ; and once we were present at his, 
when the phenomena took place in his own house in Boston. 
While the occurrences of the evening were fresh in our minds, 
we each wrote an account of them ; and his narrative was after- 
wards put in the form of a letter and sent to our mutual friend, 
William M. Wilkinson, in England. We subjoin it : — 

"Dear Sir, — I wish to send you an account of some spirit- 
ual manifestations which I have lately witnessed; and which, 
indeed, have been the only experiences of the kind, which I 
have had since I saw you in London last June. As you know, 
I have been long absent from this city, sojourning in France anti 
Italy for four years. 

"On my return here, I found that, among my immediate 
friends, Spiritualism was regarded as a something dead. But 
the' only reason which my informants could give for their belief, 
was that they had not heard the subject mentioned for a year or 
^wo. However, I asked them, and they smiled when I did so, 
whether the northern lights would become incredible by not 
being talked about. 

"Through a friend, whose name and judgment are a sufficient 
guarantee for whatever he may choose to vouch, I heard lately 
of a medium whom I had never known before. That medium 
is a young fragile woman; Last Tuesday evening she came to 
my house. I had some friends to meet her. Altogether for the 
fiance, we were eight in number. It was explained to us, that 
the medium would pass into a state of trance, and that the room 
would have to be darkened. * Oh I * says some skeptic, * a dark 
room ! That is enough for me.* Perhaps so ; and perhaps also 
it would be enough for him, equally, if it were insisted that 



mediumship was impossible in the dark, and possible only in a 
yoom all ablaze with light. But, before we advance further, 
k will ask this skeptic, why is it that an iron ball will retain heat 
'in the dark longer than in the light? And perhaps in ascer- 
taining that, he may learn something which may help in the 
inquiry, why spiritual mediumship is sometimes stronger or 
more effective when the light is excluded? 

"There were ranged on a table, about two feet behind the 
medium, the articles which it was understood would be in requi- 
sition during the evening. About the placing of the articles, 
there was no mystery made, nor was any jugglery possible, in 
connection with the manner in which they were disposed. We 
sat round a table ; and, after a little singing, the medium passed 
into a state, apparently, of trance. The expression of her face 
was much changed, was much refined and beautified. The last 
light was extinguished. All round the table, we held one 
another's hands, except the medium ; and she, instead of hold- 
ing my hand, laid her hand upon mine, drawing her hand along 
it, as though for some mesmeric purpose. Her other hand was 
placed similarly on the hand of one of my friends, who sat on 
the other side of her. 

" For persons hard of belief, I would remark, that if darkness 
be unfavorable, in some respects, for detecting imposture, it is 
also very unfavorable, in a strange place, for the operations of . 
one who would cheat. I wish it too, to be fully understood, 
that, throughout all the wonders which happened, we had full 
knowledge of each other's hands every moment. Several times 
when the phenomena were most remarkable, I said to my friends, 
*Now are we all sure, that we, every one, have charge of the 
hands which we ought to be holding?' And the answer was, 
* Yes : we are all satisfied.' 

"A bell was carried round the room, ringing; was rung over 
our heads, and was placed against my cheek. A guitar was 
played upon, as it was carried about the room. It was laid on 
our hea(ds and pl^ed upon. It was whirled over our heads 
so rapidly, that we felt the wind of it, ^s it went round and 


round. It was rapped on the heads of five or six persons ; it 
was rattled among the glasses of the chandelier; it was struck 
on the floor, and thrown on to the table, — and all this, as it 
seemed, in a moment. The quick, versatile movement of the 
instrument I can liken to nothing so much as to the darting of 
a fly to and fro. 

"A glass of water was placed to my lips, in the neatest manner 
possible ; and I drank from it. And it was carried round to the 
lips of other persons at the table. A tambourine was beaten as 
it was borne about the room. It was struck on our heads; and 
it was shaken above us with great force. A horn was blown, 
and made a noise almost terrific. With several, of us a sheet of 
paper was spread over the face, aTid through it we felt distinctly 
the pressure of a hand. A hand, without any thing interven- 
ing, was placed on my head. It was a large hand ; and it 
grasped my head 'firmly, and shook it. It took hold of a lock 
of hair over my forehead, and pulled it. That these things were 
not done by persons of flesh and blood, I know thoroughly 

*'I have an acquaintance, who was wont to be a very fierce 
and bitter opponent of Spiritualism. He used to account medi- 
umship as an imposture, a transparent and a gross impos- 
ture; a most cunning imposture; and also a most simple kind 
of imposture. Now, lately he said to me, * Blowing a horn, 
playing a guitar! What is the good of that?' 

**I answered him, *My friend, I did not say there was any 
good in it. I merely said there was a fact in it, and that fact, 
the operation of a spirit. And if you think that to be nothing, 
why, then you must think very differently now Mm what you 
did, when the mere supposition that a spirit m%ht rap on the 
table used to make you foam with excitem^t, as you re- 

" * Ah, well ! * he said, * but what now do yon think is the use 
of it? And why cannot it be done anywhere by anybody? 
And if spirits can do such things as you say, why can they 
not tell us something useful, whether thesb is going to be a 



" * And perhaps jou would add,' I replied, *how to square the 
circle, how to be infallible as to latitude and longitude at sea, 
and how to find the philosopher's stone. But, my friend, it may 
be that many a spirit is less intelligent than you yourself are. 
For, when you think of it, what a way to wisdom that would 
be, for a spirit to become omniscient with merely slipping off his 
overcoat of flesh ! ' 

***But — but — but why do they not teach us something — 
some of them? And is it not true, that they often tell lies? 
And, in fact, somehow I can make nothing out of it.' 

" To this I answered, * That is very probable ! and no great 
wonder. And by the way of mediumship, as to spirits tell- 
ing falsehoods, as you suppose they do sometimes, why that 
would show at least that there are lying spirits. And that thing 
made certain to you as a fact, would be a matter of more impor- 
tance, infinitely, than the discovery of twenty new comets. And 
now as to a spirit blowing a horn or beating a tambourine, 
you think it is nothing. But, for myself, I think that it implies 
a spirit present who is the actor ; that it proves that, under cer- 
tain circumstances, spirits have power over matter ; and that it 
suggests many subjects for the most serious consideration of the 
theologian, the moralist, and the man of science. 

** I am, yours truly, w. M." 

On several occasions we have known Miss Lord to be lifted 
bodily with her chair, while she was seated in it, from the floor 
on to the table, by some unknown force. In a like mysterious 
manner, at our own house, a large bass-viol was played on 
vigorously and with fair skill, while the medium's hands were 
held by us, and deception was impossible. ** Coronation " and 
other sacred tunes were thus played. The potver^ whatever it 
was, would, before playing, spend a minute or two in tuning the 
instrument, and would then indicate its readiness by tapping 
the heads of certain persons in the audience with the bow. A 
large, flexible hand, full of life and guided by intelligence, and 
which was nearly twice the size of Miss Lord's hand, touched us 


and others repeatedly on the head, pulled our hair, took down 
the hair of our sister, and then put it up as before, placed a 
tumbler filled with water at our lips, and this at the right angle, 
and^with the nicest adjustment, so that not a drop was spilt. 
These manifestations, though in utter darkness, were of such a 
character, and produced under such conditions, as to render 
imposture impracticable. 

A writer in ** Once a Week," a London journal, recently under- 
took to account for the phenomenon of the " spirit-hand " by the 
theory that the effect was accomplished by the aid of an instru- 
ment he calls the lazy-tongs. It is perhaps superfluous to say 
that his explanation is now obsolete, like the toe-joint theory to 
explain the rappings : it does not begin to cover the facts. 

Another medium, through whom we hkve witnessed some 
astonishing phenomena, though we have not had opportunities 
of testing them as thoroughly as those through Miss Lord, is 
Miss Laura V. Ellis, of Springfield, Mass. This young lady 
was only fourteen at the time we first saw her in the summer of 
1866. She entered a small movable cabinet or closet, and while 
she was tied there in the most thorough manner, the door was 
closed, whereupon, in an incredibly short space of time, various 
manifestations requiring the free use of hands or feet took place. 
The following account by Mr. L. J. Fuller of a sitting at Willi- 
mantic. Conn., February, 1867, corresponds with our own experi- 
ence : — 

" After Miss Ellis was tied in the usual way .with strips of cloth, 
the knots were sewed through and through, and then the ends of 
the cloth sewed strongly to the sleeves of her dress ; after which 
she was firmly secured in the cabinet, when the following mani- 
festations were given : A string was tied around her neck in a 
square knot in six seconds; this was repeated twice, with the 
same results. A string was tied around the waist in four seconds ; 
repeated twice, once in four seconds, and once in three; tied 
around the back of her neck in eight seconds ; front of her neck, 
fifteen seconds ; repeated in fourteen seconds; untied from her 
neck in fifteen seconds; untied from front of neck in three 


seconds ; bell rung in two seconds ; repeated in four seconds ; 
loud raps with stick in two seconds; repeated in one second; 
stick thrust through the aperture of the cabinet fourteen inches, 
and afterward thrown ten feet from the cabinet ; playing on the 
tambourine in one second ; playing on the trombone in one sec- 
ond; also singing, and keeping time with the trombone; 
drununing, whistling, and keepftig time with the jews-harp, and 
*pther instruments; besides many other and varied manifesta- 
tions. Her hands were then untied and extended horizontally, 
and tied to staples, so that by turning the hands toward the head, 
which was fastened back to the cabinet, the nearest they could 
come to the ends of the knot was twelve inches from them. The 
knot was untied the first time in thirty seconds, and the second 
time in twenty seconds. 

"The whole was done under the closest scrutiny of a commit- 
tee of three, no one of whom could detect the slightest evidence 
of collusion during the whole entertainment. The medium's 
hands were repeatedly examined during the whole time of the 
entertainment, and found in the same condition as when first 
tied. No show of any effort on her part could by the closest 
scrutiny be detected ; and all unprejudiced minds were satisfied 
that the manifestations were produced by some power outside of 
Miss Ellis." 

On another occasion, at Keene, N.H., according to the report 
of Mr. Henry Woods, " a trombone, harmonicon, tambourine, 
and drum were played, and other feats performed; all these 
feats being done while Miss Ellis's wrists were securely tied at 
her back, and to the cabinet, her ankles tied, and neck also fas- 
tened to the cabinet. Last, but not least, a knife with the blade 
shut, having been laid in her lap, was taken and used to cut her 
loose from the cabinet, and to disengage her wrists, the knife 
being then left half-way open in her lap. Let none say that 
these things are accomplished by trickery, until they have been 
personal witnesses of the wonderful phenomena presented." 

Various attempts have been made tq prove that these pheno- 
mena are mere tricks ; and several imitators, some perhaps with 


the partial aid of forces similar to those operating through Miss 
Ellis, have undertaken to show that the manifestations could all 
be accomplished by manual dexterity; but, thus far, no one has 
succeeded in indicating this to the satisfaction of candid com- 
mittees. It is not uncommon for partially gifted mediums to try 
to excite attention by denouncing the manifestations through 
their more successful brethren or sisters as fraudulent; but, when 
it comes to the proof, they always fail of proving iu the light, that 
all the phenomena can be produced by trick or skill. 

Under date of Nov. 24, 1867, Mr. W. A. Danskin, of Balti- 
more, Md., gives an account of a youth, about nineteen years 
old, and whose head measured twenty-two inches round, from 
whose neck a solid iron ring weighing fourteen ounces, and 
measuring but fifteen inches on its inner circle, was taken and 
replaced. The ring was submitted to the closest inspection, both 
before the experiment and while on the neck. 

On one occasion another ring, precisely similar in appearance 
to the one ordinarily used at the exhibition, was made, marked 
by four indentations while the metal was soft, and brought to the 
hall, at one of the public exhibitions, without the knowledge of 
the medium or his friends. The parties having it in charge 
watched their opportunity, and substituted the marked ring for 
the original. The manifestation was successfully given, though 
the time of it was somewhat extended, and the medium was 
much exhausted. • 

"Once," says Mr. Danskin, "when only three persons were 
present, — the medium, a friend, and myself, — we sat together in 
a dark room. I held the left hand of the medium, my friend held 
his right hand, our other hands being joined; and, while 
thus- sitting, the ring, which I had thrown some distance from 
us on the floor, suddenly came around my arm. I had never 
loosened my hold upon the medium, yet that solid iron ring, by 
an invisible power, was made to clasp my arm, thus demonstrat- 
ing the power of our unseen friends to separate and r«-unite, as 
well as to expand, the particles of which the ring was com- 



The following testimonial 18 signed by thirty-one gentlemen 
of Baltimore, whose names may be found published in the 
"Banner of Light," of Jan. ii, iS68: — 

" We, the undersigned, hereby testify that we have attended 
the social meetings referred to; and that a solid iron ring, seven 
inches less in size than the young man's head, was actually 
and unmistakably placed around his neck. There was, as the 
advertisement claims, no possibility of fraud or deception, 
because the ring was freely submitted to the examination of the 
audience, both before and while on the neck of the young 

This extraordinary medium died of consumption of the lungs, 
July 2, i868. Since his death, Mr. Danskin writes, " The ring 
manifestation was entirely free from deception or fr^iud ; and, 
under the conditions established, fraud was absolutely impossi- 
ble." He is confident that in no single instance did this medium 
attempt to impose on any one. 

Some surprising manifestations, through Mr. Charles H. 
Read, of Buffalo, have been- witnessed during the summer and 
autumn of i868. The " Daily Times," of Brooklyn, N.Y., in its 
issue of April 3, 1868, has a clear and accurate account of these 
phenomena, of which ours is an abridgment. 

Precautions were taken against the possible intrusion of any 
confederate. Mr. Read was securely tied. The wrists were 
made fast until the cord settled well into the flesh ; it was then 
drawn between the knees, the ends being carried down with two 
well-jammed turns on the front rung of the chair, and then back 
to the rear rung, where the end was made fast with several half- 
hitches. The arms were secured and tied to the back of the 
chair, and the legs fastened at the ankles to the rear legs of 
the same. Being seated in position, and at a distance from the 
table, the gas was turned off ; and in about one-half of a minute^ 
on being re-lighted, one of the rings encircled his arm. 

The fastenings were instantly examined, and found undis- 
turbed. During the dark interval, some s«nging was indulged 
in. Supposing a confederate to have beer :»*>le to pass the twine 


barrier without ringing the bell, he could not, in half a minute, 
have untied the ropes so as to slip the ring on the arm, and re- 
tie them again ; for it required more than five minytes to adjust 
them in the first instance, and the same knots could not have 
been even simulated. The ring still remaining on the right 
arm, the gas was again extinguished ; and in less than a minute 
the light revealed the stool on his arm ; or, in other words, the 
ring was on the floor, where it had been heard to fall, and 
the stool had taken its place. There was no movable ring which 
could have been removed so as to slip the stool-leg down between 
the arm of the medium and his body. The ropes and knots were 
still intact. 

Once more was darkness ; and the next revelation was the 
medium's coat off and on the floor^ against the wall, at some dis- 
tance from his position. The fastenings were again examined : 
not the least slackening was found. A further test was made, 
and the stool appeared on the other arm. 

At the request of the demonstrator, the writer placed his own 
coat on the table ; and, in less time than this sentence may be 
written, he beheld one of Mr. Read's arms in the sleeve of the 
garment, which could not be removed without cutting or untying 
the ropes. A moment or two of darkness, however, sufficed to 
find it thrown to one side of the apartment. During these demon- 
strations the medium seemed to become gradually weak and 
exhausted, as if he had been rudely handled. Finally, there was 
more darkness ; and in a little more than a minute, counted by a 
healthy and regular pulse, there came a sound as of something 
thrown aside, which the gas revealed as the rofes on the chande- 

The man was entirely free, and before him dangled the fasten- 
ings. His wrists showed deep indentations ; and his hands were 
swollen, from partial suspension of the circulation of the blood. 
The reader may be assured that in all this -there was not, and 
could not be, the slightest collusion. Mr. tiead could not untie 
himself, nor could he be approached by a confederate. 

Similar phenomena through Mr. Read, accompanied with 



touches from spirit-hands,* on the persons of several among the 
audience, were witnessed on the evening of Sept. 8, 1868, at 
the residence of Mr. Z. A. Willard, of Boston. 

Vocal manifestations have been not unfrequent in the 
history of supposed spiritual disturbances. Some very singular 
occurrences took place in the family of John Richardson, in 
Hartford, Trumbull County, Ohio, the latter part of the year 
1854. The affidavits of himself, his wife, and Mr. James H'. 
More, bearing date Jan. 8, 1855, were duly made before Mr. 
William J. Bright, a justice of the peace, who, in communicating 
them to the public, says, "The facts are of public notoriety 
here, and can no doubt be sustained by any amount of evi- 

The wildest doings of the days of witchcraft are paralleled in 
the following narrative, which we quote for its explicit testimony 
in regard to the vocal manifestations : — 

"About five weeks a§o," deposes Mr. Richardson, " my atten- 
tion was arrested by a very sharp and loud whistle, seemingly in 
a small closet in one corner of my house. This was followed by 
loud and distinct raps, as loud as a person could conveniently 
rap with the knuckles. The closet- door is secured or fastened 
by a wood button that turns over the edge of the door. This 
button would frequently turn, and the door open, without any 
visible agency. This was followed by a loud and distinct 
(apparently) human voice, which could be heard, perhaps, fifty 

"After repeating a very loud and shrill scream several times, 
the voice fell to a lower key, and, in a tone about as loud as 
ordinary conversation, commenced speaking in a plain and 
distinct manner, assuring the family that we would not be 
burned, and requesting us to have no fear of any injury, as we 
were in no danger. Those manifestations being altogether 

• Prof. Denton, the accomplished geologist, author of a remarkable work, entitled 
*'The Soul of Things," says, " I have seen spirit-hands over and over again, — have 
taken impressions of them in flour and putty and clay." We have a letter from Dr. J. 
F. Gray, describmg his examination of a spirit-hand in the light 


unaccountable to myself and family, we searched the entire 
house, to find, if possible, the cause of this new and startling 
phenomenon, but found no one in or about the premises but the 
family. Again we were startled by a repetition of the screams, 
which were repeated perhaps a dozen times, when the voice 
proceeded to inform us that the conversation came from the 
spirit of two brothers, calling themselves Henry and George 
Force, who claim to have been murdered some eleven years 
since ; and then gave us what they represented as a history of 
the tragedy, and insisted that we should call on some of tne 
neighbors, to hear the disclosure. John Ranney, Henry Moore, 
and some dozen others, were then called in, to whom the history 
was detailed at length. We could readily discover a difference 
in the voice professing to come from the two spirits. 

" About the third day after these manifestations commenced, 
my wife brought a ham of meat into the house, and laid it on 
tlffe table, and stepped to the other side of the room, when the 
ham was carried by some invisible agency from four to six feet 
from the table, and thrown upon the floor. At another time, a 
bucket of water was, without human hands, taken from the table, 
carried some six feet, and poured upon the floor. This was 
followed by a large dining-table turning round from its position 
at the side of the room, and being carried forward to the stove, 
a distance of more than six feet. This was done while there was no 
person near it. The same table has, since that time, been thrown 
on its side without human agency, and often been made to dance 
about while the family were eating around it. At one time, 
dishes, knives, and forks were thrown from the table to the 
opposite side of the room, breaking the dishes to pieces. 

"On another occasion, the voice requested Mrs. Richardson 
to remove the dishes from the table, which was done immedi- 
ately, when the table commenced rocking violently back and 
forward, and continued the motion, so that the dishes could not 
be washed upon it, but were placed in a vessel and set upon the 
floor, from which a number of them flew from the tub to the 
chamber-floor overhead, and were thus broken to pieces. What 



crockery remained we attempted to secure by placing it in a 
cupboard, and shut the doors, which were violently thrown open ; 
and the dishes flew, like lightning, one after another, against 
the opposite side, and broke to pieces. At another time, a draiSver 
in the table was, while there was no person near it, drawn out ; 
and a plate that had been placed there carried across the room 
and broken against the opposite wall. And this kind of demon- 
stration has continued until nearly all the crockery about the 
house has been broken and destroyed. 

" At different times, the drawers of a stand in a bedroom have 
been taken out, and at one time carefully placed on a bed. A 
large stove-boiler has been, while on the stove, filled with water, 
tipped up, and caused to stand on one end, and the water was 
turned out upon the floor, and at this time taken oflf from the 
stove, and carried some six feet, and set down upon the floor, 
and this while untouched by any person. A teakettle has often 
been taken from the stove in the same manner, and thrown upon 
the floor. At one time, a spider, containing some coffee for the 
purpose of browning, was taken from the stove, carried near the 
chamber-floor, and then thrown upon the floor. And frequently, 
while Mrs. Richardson has been baking buckwheat cakes on the 
stove, the griddle has, in the same unaccountable manner, been 
taken from the stove, and thrown across the house ; and often 
cakes have been taken from the griddle while baking, and have 
disappeared entirely. 

"At one time, the voice, speaking to my wife, said it (the 
spirit) could bake cakes for George, a boy eating at the. table. 
Mrs. Richardson stepped away from the stove, when the batter 
(already prepared for baking cakes) was by some unseen agency 
taken from a crock sitting near the stove, and placed upon the 
griddle, and turned at the proper time, and when done taken 
from the griddle, and placed upon the boy's plate at the table. 
The voice then proposed to bake a cake for Jane, my daughter, 
who was at work about the house. The cake was accordingly 
baked in the same manner as before stated, and carried across 
the room and placed in the girl's hand. 


" During all these occurrences, the talking from the two voices 
and others has continued, and still continues daily, together with 
such manifestations as I have detailed, with many others not 
named. The conversation, as well as the other demonstrations, 
have been witnessed almost daily by myself and family, as well 
as by scores of persons, who have visited my house to witness 
these strange phenomena. 

**I will only add, that the spirit (the voice) gave as a reason 
for breaking crockery and destroying property, that it is done to 
convince the world of the existence of spirit presence." 

Several' instances are related in which photographs of supposed 
spirit-forms have been taken. In the autumn of 1862, the " spirit 
photographs," said to be got through Mr. Mumler, a Boston 
photographer, were a subject of much controversy. 

In the first edition of this work, we stated that no evidence had 
been adduced that Mumler was an impostor. We had been in- 
formed that those who knew him personally did not doubt his 
honesty. We have since had reason to believe, that the many in- 
telligent Spiritualists who distrusted and denounced him from 
the first were in the right; that Mumler, so far as his spirit pho- 
tographs are concerned, is a clever cheat. And our principal 
witness against Mumler is Mumler himself ; not the most con- 
clusive authority, some will say, but still a witness whose testi- 
mony is sufficient, under the circumstances. Such tricksters 
serve a good purpose, and should never excite any other emotion 
than that of gratitude in the mind of an earnest investigator; 
for they help to sift the spurious phenomena from the real, and 
to inspire a salutary caution. 

To those acquainted with the established fact, that forms of 
hands, supposed to be projected by some intelligent spiritual 
force, have been so materialized as to be felt and seen, it will not 
be incredible that such forms may be photographed. Indeed, 
the cases are not few where the testimony is strong that this lias 
been dome. But the subject is one which requires a fuller in- 
vestigation before it can be classed with the accepted phe- 




Professor W. D. Gunning (1867) relates an instance in which 
a spirit-hand appeared on the photograph of a young girl. He 
says, " While sitting before the camera, she was smitten with 
partial blindness. She described it to me as * a kind of blur 
coming suddenly over her eyes.* She spoke of it to the artist, 
who told her * to wink and sit still.' In developing the plate, he 
noticed an imperfection, but did not observe it closely. He sat 
the girl again, and took a sheet of eight tintypes. She felt no 
blur over her eyes, and there was no blur on the pictures. The 
artist now examined the first sheet, and found hands on the face 
and neck of every tintype, eight in all ! I have examined four of 
these, and find the hands in precisely the same position on each 
picture. Now the artist affirms that no human being but himself 
and the girl was in the room when these pictures were taken. 
He has no theory : he only knows that these hands came on the 
picture through no agency of his. What, then, shall we say?" 

Professor Gunning shows that the theory that the plate was an 
old one, and the hands had been photographed there before, is 
absurd. *' As well talk of making an Iliad by throwing down a 
ton of types at random ! " Other explanations he rejects as 
equally unsatisfactory, and says, " The best part of my life has 
been spent in the study and interpretation of science ; and, in all 
humility, I should be competent to weigh and interpret facts so 
simple as these. And, to my mind, this picture is a fact quite as 
important to science as an Amazonian fish. I will not cross an 
ocean for a new bug, and cry * Humbug ! ' to a fact like this at 
my very door. . . . 

*' In paintings of the creation, done in the Middle Ages, you 
will see the hand of Deity moving over chaos ; only the hand, 
for clouds and darkness veil His form. Belief in the Infinite 
Being and the life eternal was nourished and sustained in our 
fathers, by art. And now art comes to us even more divine ; for 
she is Nature's own, painting with sunbeams. And our loved 
ones now and then lift the veil, and reach forth a hand from out 
that world of light and beauty, — from that world a hand clothed 
upon with elements from this; and art, in her new era, minis- 
ters again to our hope of immortality." * 


Of the numerous speaking mediums, the writing, the drawing, 
the musical (such as Blind Tom, the colored hoy), the healing, 
the letter- reading, &c., we have left ourselves little room to 
speak in this place. Manj of the phenomena through these 
various mediums are quite as wonderful and significant as those 
we have described ; but, as they are more open to partial explana- 
tion by causes not outside of the individual, we shall not do 
more than to refer to them at present. 

Under date of Washington, D.C., Feb. 6th, 1869, a correspon- 
dent of the ** Banner of Light," communicates the following ac- 
count of a new medium : " Frankie Gunnell is the son of H. D. 
Gunnell, a highly respectable resident of our city. At a private 
audience on Friday evening last, there were about sixty ladies 
and gentlen^en present, among whom were Thomas W. Ferry, 
M.C., from Michigan, and other members of Congress; editors 
of city papers, half a dozen medical gentlemen, and other prom- 
inent citizens. 

Frankie was seated in a small cabinet, in the door of which, 
near the top, a diamond-shaped hole was cut. The door was 
closed, and he was tied by unseen hands. The committee of 
examination, consisting of Mr*. Ferry and Dr. McWilliams, ex- 
amined the cords and pronounced the lad securely tied; his 
hands being fastened together behind him, and secured to the 
back and bottom of the chair on which he was sitting. A guitar, 
tambourine, violin, drum, and a bell were placed in the cabinet. 
Immediately on closing the door, which was bolted by an unseen 
power inside — the clicking of the bolt being distinctly heard 
— music was heard from the instruments, and hands were ex- 
hibited and thrust through the aperture in the door, one holding 
the violin bow, and another the drumstick. The door was un- 
bolted inside and instantly opened, when, on careful examina- 
tion, the committee pronounced Frankie to be tied precisely as 
he was when examined before. The door was again closed, and 
hands and arms were instantly presented through the hole in 
the door. The bell was rung, and continued ringing until the 
door was unbolted inside and opened, when Frankie stepped out 
with the cords removed from his person. 



" He then took a seat in the front parlor, the audience being 
assembled in front of him and occupying the back parlor, the 
doors all being thrown open. The musical instruments were 
placed on a table by the side of the medium. The lights were 
then put out, and Frankie was immediately made fast by an un- 
seen power, with his hands lashed together behind him and 
fastened to the chair. The lights were again put up, and Frankie 
was examined, and pronounced to be securely tied. Again the 
lights were put out, and the musical instruments were seen fly- 
ing through the room, distinctly recognized by the phosphorus 
that had been rubbed upon them a few minutes before. The 
lights were called for, and the medium was found to be bound 
as when last examined. The experiments were repeated with 
similar and varied results. The medium, then, with the lights 
out, asked some one to * request the spirits to take my [the 
medium's] coat off; * which was done in an instant, the hands 
still tied together and to the chair. The request was made to 
have it put on, which was done in an instant. Mr. Ferry then, 
at the request of the medium, took his coat off and laid it upon 
a table. The room was no sooner darkened, and the request 
made, than the coat was put upon the medium, and, after exami- 
nation, was taken off with equal dexterity. A request was made to 
show the hand by which this was done, when a hand was seen im- 
mediately on the bottle of phosphorus sitting on the mantel-shelf. 

" I am not a believer in spiritual manifestations, nor am I of 
those who would reject, without examination, such manifesta- 
tions in evidence of spirit communication as are here presented. 
I am an earnest inquirer after truth. I have been on the com- 
mittee and in the cabinet with the Davenport Brothers. I am 
satisfied there is no collusion on their part, and I am equally 
convinced that young Frankie Gunnell is not an impostor." 

Every week we hear of new cases similar to this. Accounts, 
too, reach us from England of phenomena equally surprising, so 
well attested by men of science, and by lords and baronets, that 
"the Fellows of the Royal Society, and other fellows, stand 
aghast at the amount of testimony, and begin to think that they 
must reconsider the oonclusions of Faraday and the rest in 
regRTd to these occurrences.** 



" I gaze aloof 

On the tissued roof, 
Where time and space are the warp and woof, 

Which the King of kings 

As a curtain flings 
0*er tlie dreadfulness of eternal things." — if^f. TAos. IVhUehead. 

'T^HE most remarkable of the phenomena we have recorded 
had their counterpart in those known in the little village 
of Prevorst, amid the mountains of Northern Wurtemberg, 
twenty- two years before the Fox family first heard the rappings 
at Hydesville. 

Frederica Hauif(6, the seeress, was born in Prevorst, in the year 
1801. She died in 1829. "She lived," writes the late Margaret 
Fuller, "but nine-and-twenty years; yet in that time had trav- 
A*sed a larger portion of the field of thought than all her race 
before in their many and long lives." 

The biography of the seeress, published in 1829, was from the 
pen of Justinus Kerner, chief physician at Weinsberg, a man of 
unquestionable ability and stainless integrity. His proclama- 
tion of the phenomena, and the spiritual facts developed in the 
life of his subject, brought upon him a storm of ridicule and 
denunciation, from which there are few men who would not have 
shrunk. He met it bravely, and maintained his ground with a 
steadiness which no sneers from the savatts and wits among his 
contemporaries could impair; and at last his veracity as a 
biographer, his philosophical sagacity, and his skill as a cool 


observer of facts have been completely vindicated by the events 
of the last twenty years. 

After her marriage, in her 19th year, to Herr Hauff^, a worthy 
man, the seeress, who was of a remarkably delicate organization, 
became subject to spasmodic attacks, and would often pass into a 
somnambulic state. She at last became so sensitive to magnetic 
influences that even the nails in the walls had to be removed. 
Articles, the near neighborhood of which to her person was 
found injurious, would be taken away by an unseen hand. Such 
objects as a silver spoon would be perceptibly conveyed from her 
hand to a more convenient distance, and laid on a plate ; not 
thrown, for the things would pass slowly through the air as if 
borne by invisible agency. 

In 1826, Dr. Kerner took charge of Mrs. Hauffi^. He soon ' 
found that drugs had no effect upon her. Even the homoeo- 
pathic pharmacopoeia was discarded. The seeress, in her clair- 
voyant state, prescribed for herself better than any physician 
could have done. 

I The rapping phenomena were common in her presence. Ker- 
ner says, " As I had been told by her parents, a year before her 
father's death, that, at the period of her early nuignetic state, 
she was able to make herself heard by her friends, as they lay 
in bed at night, in the sajne village, but in other houses, by a 
knocking, — as is said of the dead, — I asked her, in her som- 
nambulic state, whether she was able to do so now, and at 
what distance ? She answered, that she would sometime do it ; 
that to the spirit space was nothing. Sometime after this, as we 
were going to bed, — my children and servants being already 
asleep, — we heard a knocking, as if in the air, over our heads. 
There were six knocks, at intervals of half a minute. It was a 
hollow, yet clear sound, soft, but distinct. We* were certain 
theie was no one near us, nor over us, from whom it could pro- 
ceed ; and our house stands by itself. On the following evening, 
when she was asleep, when we had mentioned the knocking to 
nobody whatever, she asked me whether s\fe should soon 
knock to us again ; which, as she said it was hurtful to her, I 


And again he tells us, "In my own house, I can bear witness 
• not only to the sounds of throwing, knocking, &c. ; but a small 
table was flung into a room without any visible nveans; the 
pewter plates in the kitchen were hurled about, in the hearing of 
the whole house, — circumstances laughable to others, and which 
would be so to me, had I not witnessed them in my sound mind ; 
. bi^t which become doubly significant, when I compare them to 
many accounts I have heard of the like nature, where there was 
no somnambule in question." 

Here we have phenomena precisely like those with which the 
records of witchcraft, and the accounts of haunted houses, are 

Speaking of a spirit who frequently came to her, Kerner 
says, ** His appearance was always preceded by knockings ; 
however suddenly a person flew to the place to try and detect 
whence the noise proceeded, they could see nothing. If they 
went outside, the knocking was immediately heard inside, and 
vice-versd. However securely they closed the kitchen-door, nay, 
if they tied it with cords, it was found open in the morning; and 
though they frequently rushed to the spot on hearing it open or 
shut, they never could find anybody. Sounds as of breaking 
wood, of pewter plates being knocked together, and the crack- 
ling of a fire in the oven, were also commonly heard ; but the 
cause of them could not be discovered. A sound resembling 
that of a triangle was also frequently heard ; and not only Mrs. 
Haufl*i6, but others of her family, often saw a spectral female 
form. The noises in the house became at length so remarkable, 
that her father declared he could stay in it no longer; and they 
were not only audible to everybody in it, but to the passengers 
in the street, who stopped to listen to them, as they passed." 

The Rev. Mr. Hermann wrote several questions for a spirit 
who visited Mrs. Haufll6 to answer. From the time these were 
shown to the spirit, Mr. Hermann " found himself awakened at a 
particular hour every night, and felt immediately an earnest dis- 
position to prayer. There was always, at the same time, a 
knocking in his room, sometimes n the floor, and sometimes 



on the walls, which his wife heard as well as himself ; but they 
saw nothing." 

Several experiments were made to test the reality of the seer- 
ess*s spirit-vision. Kerner relates that "An acquaintance of 
Mrs. Hauffd's who sometimes visited her, one day informed U6 
that a friend of hers was dead. This person had promised her 
that lie would appear to her after death, and we consequently 
hourly expected to learn that she had seen his ghost ; but days, 
weeks and months passed without anj such event happening. 
Then the acquaintance owned, that, not believing in the reality of 
these apparitions, he had said it for an experiment ; the person 
was not dead. Another experiment was made as follows : Mrs. 
Hauffid was frequently visited by the spectre of a deceased person, 
of whom she had never seen or heard any thing whatever. A 
friend bade her learn of this ghost the period of his birth, which 
neither s-he nor I knew. This was done ; but when our friend 
made inquiry of his relations whether the time mentioned was 
correct, they said, *No.' This our friend wrote to us; and I 
read the letter to Mrs. Hauftl^, advancing it as a strong argument 
against the reality of the apparitions. She answered, unmoved, 
that she would inquire again. She did so, and the answer was 
the same. I wrote again to my friend, saying so, and begging 
him to ascertain more particularly the period of the birth in 
question; and, on doing this, he found that the relations had 
been in error ; the time had been correctly named." 

He adds, "I could relate many other equally remarkable facts, 
but that I should be encroaching too much on the privacy of the 
parties concerned." He details twenty-two facts that occurred at 
Weinsberg in evidence of the presence and operaticins of spirits. 
Concerning these he says, "Of the greatest number, I was fliy- 
self a witness; and what I took upon the credit of others, I most 
curiously investigated, and anxiously sought, if by any possi- 
bility a natural explanation of them could be found; but in 
vain." These facts are further corroborated by councillors, pro- 
fessors, and other ofi^cial persons. 

Mrs. Hauffid's statement concerning the spirits who appeared 


to her is interesting. Her words are, " I see many with whom 
I come into no approximation, and others who come to me, with 
whom I converse, and who remain near me for months : I see 
them at various times by day and night, whether I am alone or 
in company. I am perfectly awake at the time, and am not sen- 
sible of any circumstance or sensation that calls them up. I see 
them alike whether I am strong or weak, plethoric or in a state 
of inanition, glad or sorrowful, amused or otherwise ; and I can- 
not dismiss them. Not that they are always with me ; but they 
come at their own pleasure, like mortal visitors, and equally 
whether I am in a spiritual or corporeal state at the time. When 
I am in my calmest and most healthy sleep, they awaken me: 
I know not how; but I feel that I am awakened by them, and 
that I should have slept on had they not come to my bedside. 
I observe frequently that, when a ghost visits me by night, those 
who sleep in the same room with me are, by their dreams, made 
aware of ks presence : they speak afterwards of the apparition 
they saw in their dream, although I have not breathed a syllable 
on the subject to them. Whilst the ghosts are with me, I see 
and hear every thing around me as usual, and can think of other 
subjects; and though I can avert my eyes from them, it is 
difficult for me to do it: I feel in a sort of magnetic rapport 
with them. They appear to me like a thin cloud, that one could 
see through ; which, however, I cannot do. I never observed 
that they threw any shadow. I see them more clearly by sun or 
moonlight than in the dark; but whether I could see them in 
absolute darkness, I do not know. If any object comes between 
me and them, they are hidden from me. I cannot see them with 
closed eyes, nor when I turn my face from them." 

" Here then," says Mr. Shorter, in his review of these occur- 
rences, " nearly forty years ago, in the life of this poor, untaught 
peasant woman, we have brought together those modes of spirit 
manifestation which call forth so much denial when their 
occurrence at the present day is affirmed; manifestations in 
dream, vision, voice, touch, writing, drawing, presentiment, pre- 
diction, apparitions, second-sight, clairvoyance, crystal-seeing, 



movements of objects, rappings, trance-speaking, thought-read- 
ing, and the spirit-language." 

According to Kerner, Eschenmayer, Schubert, Gdrres, and 
others, who observed Madame Hauff(6 long and carefully, she 
seemed to be more in the spiritual world than in the physical. 
"She was," says Kerner, **more than half a spirit, and belonged 
to a world of spirits : she belonged to a world after death, and 
was more than half dead. In her sleep only was she truly awake. 
Nay, so l90se was the connection between soul and body that, 
like Swedenborg, she often went out of the body, and could 
contemplate it separately." 

Like many other clairvoyants she could, in her somnambulic 
state, read anything laid on the pit of her stomach, and inclosed 
between other sheets of blank paper. Her perception of differ- 
ent sensations from plants, precious stones, and other minerals, 
was repeatedly tried by placing them in her hands, when she 
would always ascribe the same property to the same tiding. She 
was at times lifted into the air, as has been the case with Mr. 
Home, Miss Lord, and other modern mediums, as well as with 
many saints and devotees of all countries and times. 

Science in its progress is daily supplying, in connection with 
these and kindred facts, many new analogies. " However in- 
comprehensible," says Friedrich von Meyer, "a world of spirits 
may be to the natural reason, the progress of our knowledge of 
the physical world and of the extraordinary nature of man is 
every day rendering it more comprehensible." 

Kerner, who died in 1859, ^"^1 years and honors, was a 
writer of no ordinary force and culture. In the spirit with 
which he handles his assailants, he often reminds us of that 
matchless master of controversial weapons, Lessing. 

In his "Leaves from Prevorst," published subsequently to the 
•eeres8*8 death, Kerner, after relating some striking cases of 
•pirit-agency, of recent occurrence, through others than the 
•eeress, says that any person wishing to convince himself of one 
of them " has only to make the little journey from Stuttgart to 



** But," adds Kerner, with a fine irony, " it is much more con- 
venient to sit at your writing-table by the fireside, and decide on 
such things without seeing them." 

His picture of the class of critics who pronounce judgment on 
facts in this way is one for all time. Some of these philosophers, 
indeed not a few may be found in our own country, mounted 
on reviewers' stools, and sending forth their oracular criticisms, 
weekly or monthly, on matters they know nothing about, in any 
practical or experimental sense. 

" None of those gentlemen," writes Kerner, " who call them- 
selves the friends of truth, set so much value upon it, as to 
move a single foot over the Resenbach : no one takes the least 
trouble to prove these things at the time, and on the spot. For 
many years the extraordinary manifestations of the Seeress of 
Prevorst were made public; but none of the gentlemen who 
now, all at once, pretend that they would have liked so very 
much to have seen her, and who sit and write whole blue-books 
about her, ever took a moment's trouble, whilst she lived, to see, 
to hear, and to test her. 

"At their writing-tables they continued sitting, but professed 
to have seen, heard, and proved every thing, — much more than 
the quiet, earnest, and deeply thinking psychologist, Eschen- 
meyer, who did take the trouble to examine and prove every 
thing at the time and on the spot, for the truth's sake, shunning 
no journey, when necessary, in the severest cold of winter. 
Only by such a method can such things be probed to the truth : 
the learned way of knowing and speculating by the pounce-box 
proves nothing. 

" These gentlemen wAo construct their heaven and their hell 
according to their own wishes^ and push the love and grace of 
God before them in any direction that is convenient to them, 
rather than give themselves up to believe what, from their pride 
and sensual indulgences, is most unpleasant and repugnant to 
them, labor hard, by all the arts of intellectual acuteness and 
of di^ectics, to persuade themselves, though it be but for the 
brief moment of this life, that the future inevitably awaiting 


them, will correspond with the wishes and feelings which exist 
in this body. 

" Probably it is very difficult for the pride of man to believe 
that he shall, one day, come into a condition where the noth- 
ingness of his inner being shall issue to the light; when the 
mask shall fall, under which he has endeavored here to conceal 
himself, and to parade himself complacently in the public eye. 
It is difficult, too, for the so-called intellectual* to believe in 
spirits that do not show themselves spiritual. According to them, 
every man after his death should at once arrive at the intel- 
lectual knowledge and eminence of a Hegel. But now come 
spirits, trifling and foolish, and spirits like those who came to 
the Seeress of Prevorst; who longed after Scripture texts and 
hymns ; at the name of Jesus became clearer, and asserted that 
only in the name of Jesus can rest and joy be found. In such 
spirits it is impossible for the learned and intellectual to believe ; 
and such apparitions are to them only the product of a sick 

" And spirits now come, who are much poorer and more desti- 
tute than spirits in this life ever showed themselves, so that to 
our critics such a spirit-world must appear unworthy of God; 
and if they could convince themselves that such a spirit- world did 
exist, they would doubt the wisdom of the Creator : since spir- 
its, they think, should either not show themselves at all, or in a 
manner to do honor to their Maker. This signifies nothing, 
however; for God and Nature will have the mastery I f 

** Let us suppose, for a moment, that those creatures on our 

* Witness the silly remarks of the "London Saturday Review" of Dec. 17, 1862, 
which says, " If this is the spirit-world, and if this is spiritual intelligence, and if all thai 
spirits can do is to whisk about in dark rooms^ and pinch people s legs under the table ^ 
and play * Home, Sweet Home^" on the accordion, and kiss folks in the datk, and 
paint baby pictures, and write such sentimental namby pamby as Mr. Coleman copies 
out from their dictation, it is much better to be a respectaltle pig and accept annihila- 
tion than to be cursed with such an imtnortality as this." Kemer anticipates and 
answers the sneers of witlings like this. 

t Bacon says, "The voice of nature will consent, whether the voice of man do 
or not" 

kernbr's reply to the critics. 149 

earth, which constitute a transition class, and find themselves, as 
it were, in an intermediate state, as seals, bats, megatherians, 
were so formed that they could only be seen by men of a pecul- 
iar condition of nerves, and by others not at all, the latter 
would protest that no such creatures existed, or could possibly 
exist. They would exclaim excitedly, *A creature half-mouse, 
half-bird, a creature half-calf, half-fish, would be unworthy of 
the Creator, who never brings forth helpless, crippled, half- 
existences. Such things, they would say, are the mere births of 
a sick fancy; and, were they really existent, which, however, it 
would be the height of folly to believe, would make one doubt 
the wisdom of the Creator.* That is precisely what the critics 
say of what they call low and undignified spirits. 

"But these creatures, now mentioned, do exist at this very 
time, my beloved! spite of thy belief and thy critical judgment; 
and thou shalt not, therefore, doubt the wisdom of their Creator, 
but shalt fall down, and, with all humility, shalt worship and 
say, * What I here in the dust, with the eye of a mole, regard 
as so great a disharmony, will hereafter, when the scales fall 
from my mole's-eye, appear as harmony.* 

"And so is it also with those wretched spirits I Beloved! 
they are there! However thou mayest, in thy notions of the 
Creator, consider them so unworthy ; however, in thy intellectual 
wealth, mayest struggle against them in thy spirit, — there they 
are, contrary to all the systems of such learned, acute, and intel- 
lectual men ! There they are in truth, as real as the helpless 
caterpillars, out of which slowly the butterflies shall unfold 
themselves. There they are, and you cannot hinder them; 
cannot do otherwise than disbelieve in them, and, disbelieving, 
fight against them with all your dialectic arts, ready-writings, 
wit, and acuteness, dui ivhich^ in fact, does not at all annihilate 
this spirit-world ; but it goes on its way, troubling itself not in 
the least about all your intellectual skirmishing. 

" On this point an able writer has said already, ^ Suppose a 
critic to wi ite an article that turned out and was decided by the 
public to be a poor affair, are we to consider it unworthy of 



the Creator to have made such a wretched stick " ? And 8upp<»e 
this critic to have suddenly departed into the other world, with- 
out having got any more sense, are we to doubt the wisdom of 
the Creator, if the man should manifest himself here as a very 
paltry ghost indeed?* It may, however, be answered', by some 
wise one, that every thing should in this world either not exist, 
or exist as a credit to its Maker. This, indeed, would be very 
praiseworthy and agreeable; but the courteous reader knows 
very well that the image of God in this world often reduces him- 
self to a most hideous and foolish caricature of a man ; but does 
any body on that account doubt of the wisdom of the Creator? 
JTes : let us look into the mirror^ and I am afraid we shall find our^ 
selves very much unlike the original image of God" 

Kerner then gives a series of well-attested cases of the appari- 
tions of such distorted and degraded spirits, and adds, " It is an 
incontestable truth which Jacob Bdhme ably demonstrates, and 
which the Seeress of Prevorst confirms; namely, that *The 
body being now broken up and dying, the soul retains her like- 
ness as the spirit of her will. Now is it away from the body; 
for in dying there is a separation. Now the likeness appears in 
and amid the things which the soul had here imbibed, which 
she had infected herself with, which she allowed to build them- 
selves up in her, since she has the same well-spring in her. 
That which she loved here, which was her treasure, and into 
which the spirit of her will entered, is now expressed in her, 
and becomes her spiritual image, not as a reminiscence, but as 
an actual condition.'" 

Let us hope that the day is near when a more reverent atten- 
tion will be lent to facts which are the key to much that con- 
founds our scrutiny in our studies of human nature. 

Johann Jung-Stilling, born in Westphalia, in Germany, 1740, 
was, like Kerner, a devoted Spiritualist. His "Theory of Pneu- 
matology," translated into English by Samuel Jackson, was re- 
published in New York, in 1S51, with an introduction from the 
pen of our revered friend, the late George Bush, whom it was our 
fortune to introduce to some of the phenomena of somnambu- 


lism, which we were investigating at the time. StiUing appears 
to have been well versed in the facts which the manifestations 
of 1848 brought so prominently before public attention. The 
phenomena of rapping and knocking he frequently notices, as 
modes of spirits announcing themselves. He was convinced of 
the existence of the spiritual body. "There is a natural body, 
and there is a spiritual body," says St. Paul; is now, not ts 
to BE. 

Stilling was unconsciously a "medium." He announced, 
more than ten weeks before the occurrence, the tragic fate of 
Lavater, who was shot by a soldier in Zurich, in 1799. Stilling 
wrote seasonably to Hess, and begged him to communicate the 
prediction to Lavater. The warning seems to have been un- 
heeded. Stilling's presentiments of evil were sometimes very 
strong, and as unerring as they were strong. In his " Pneuma- 
tology," he has collected a great number of authentic narratives 
of apparitions and other phenomena indicative of spiritual 
powers. The "many-sided" Goethe was Stilling's fellow- 
student at Strasburg, and became strongly attached to him. 
" I urged him," says Goethe, " to write his life; and he promised 
to do so." The promise was fulfilled. 

Stilling was well acquainted with the phenomena of animal 
magnetism. His experiments convinced him, as our own long 
since convinced us, that the soul does not require the outward 
organs of sense in order to be able to see, hear, smell, taste, and 
feel, in a much more perfect state.* "Animal magnetism," he 
says, " proves that we have an inward man, a soul, which is 
constituted of the divine spark, the immortal spirit, possessing 
reason and will, and of a luminous body, which is inseparable 

♦ " The vision that can see through brick walls," says Professor William Denton 
(1868), "and distinguish objects miles away, does not belong to the body: it must 
belong to the spirit. Hundreds of tinl^s have I had the evidence that the spirit can 
smell, hear, and see, and has powers of locomotion. As the fin in the unhatched fish 
indicates the water in which he may one day swim, as the wing of the unfledged bird 
denotes the air in which it may one day fly, so these powers in man indicate that 
mighty realm which the spirit is fitted eternally to enjoy." 



from it. Light, electric, magnetic, galvanic matter, and ether, 
appear to be all one and the same substance, under different 
modifications. The light, or ether, is the element which con- 
nects soul and body and the spiritual and material world to- 

"The ideas we form of the creation, and all the science and 
knowledge resulting from them, depend entirely upon our 
organization. God views every thing as it is in itself. For, if 
he viewed things in space, and as no space can be conceived 
as really existing unless limited, the views which God takes 
would therefore also be limited, which is impossible; conse- 
quently no space exists out of us in nature, but our ideas of it 
arise solely from our organization. If God viewed objects in 
succession and rotation, he would exist in time, and thus again 
be limited. Now, as this is impossible, time is therefore also a 
mode of thinking peculiar to finite capacities, and not any thing 
true or real." 

From these principles. Stilling arrives at the opinion that, 
since time and space are only modes of thinking suited to our 
present state, it is impossible that rational inferences, though 
mathematically just, can serve to guide us into the truths of the 
invisible world, when their premises are founded on modes of 
thinking adapted to the visible world, but excluding operations 
from the invisible. 

Perhaps this theory may explain why natural science makes 
such blunders in its attempts to deal with the recent phe- 


" Shut your eyes, and you will see." — Joubert, 

*• Whereas the atheists impute the origin of these things to men*s mistaking both 
their dreams and waking fancies for real visions and sensations, they do hereby plainly 
contradict one main fundamental principle of their own philosophy, that sense is the 
only ground of certainty and the criterion of all truth." — Cudworik. 

IN the face of the opposing protestations of a negative mate- 
rialism, there is one great fact established hy the positive 
testimony of the past and of our own age; this, namely, #that 
there are and have been such individuals as seers, somnambu- 
lists, mediums, exhibiting powers which wholly transcend those 
of our mortal senses, and who must derive such powers either 
from spiritual faculties of their own, superseding the physical 
and normal, or from communication with spiritual forces and 
intelligences external to themselves. The manifestations upon 
which our convictions of this fact are based are of daily occur- 
rence, and such as may be tested by all who will take a little 
trouble and exercise a little patience. 

More than thirty years ago, by a series of experiments which 
extended over a period of two years, we satisfied ourselves of 
the facts of animal magnetism, or mesmerism, including the 
higher phenomena of lucid somnambulism. Our opportunities 
of investigation were of daily occurrence, and such as to make 
imposture impracticable. We made many observations of high 
psychological significance, as we believe, confirming most of the 
accounts of similar experiences by Puysegur, De Leuze, Dupotet, 
Chnuncy Hare Townshend, and others. 



The interest of these observations has been, to a great extent, 
merged in the more comprehensive generalizations of modern 
Spiritualism, including the phenomena of animal magnetism, as 
well as of witchcraft and sorcery, and thus showing them all to 
be expressions of one great spiritual or psychical fact. 

Moreover, many of the most surprising phenomena of animal 
magnetism, though ridiculed and denied for a long time by the 
scientific world, are now admitted by the leading physiologists 
of tlie day. Science is just beginning to change its attitude of 
angry contempt for the less unbecoming position of inquiry and 
attention. One has only to read the medical and physiological 
writings of Dr. Carpenter, his admissions on the subject of som- 
nambulism, of brain action without consciousness, and other 
unexplained mysteries, to be satisfied on this point; for Dr. Car- 
penter now represents the most advanced school of England in 
his department of physiology, and few equally high contempo- 
rary authorities can be named. 

It is true that some of the more surprising facts of clairvoy- 
ance are still kept at a distance, on probation, even by Dr. Car- 
penter; but they are no longer treated with that disdainful 
vituperation or easy indifference which the magnates of science 
observed towards them up to the year 1856. 

The phenomena of lucid somnambulism are a constant offence 
and stumbling-block to the modern materialistic school, of 
which Moleschott, Vogt, Feuerbach, and Biichner are active 
representatives. With the asperity of partisanship, these able 
writers deny all evidences of a psychical nature in man, and 
seem to take it as a personal affront if we credit them with 
immortal souls. 

"It may appear singular," says Dr. Biichner, "that at all 
times those individuals were the most zealous for a personal 
continuance after death, whose souls were scarcely worthy of 
such a careful preservation." 

This modest philosopher would seem to look upon the 
Augustines, Origens, Pascals, Johnsons, and Goethes of the hu- 
man race as small specimens, compared with Dr. Biichner! 



Lpdwig Feuerbach (born 1804) has the following remark: 
" No one who has eyes to see can fail to remark, that the belief 
in the immortality of the soul has long been effaced from ordi- 
nary life, and that it only exists in the subjective imagination of 
individuals, still very numerous." 

That the belief in immortality has been largely effaced from 
the ordinary life of many educated persons, is, we fear, but too 
true; but this is owing, in a great degree, to the circumstance, 
that the class of facts which modern Spiritualism has re-verified 
has been excluded, by false theories and an imperious ignorance, 
from scientific consideration. Belief in immortality was more 1 
general in ancient times than now, if we except the rapidly 
increasing body of Spiritualists. Even so good a Catholic as 
Frederick Schlegel admits this. "Among those nations of 
primitive antiquity," he says, the doctrine of the immortality 
of the soul was not a mere probable hypothesis : it was a lively 
certainty, like the feeling of one's own being." 

One has to go back only to the time of Richard Baxter, to see^ 
how largely the convictions of immortality^ in his day, were 
based on a knowledge of spiritual phenomena. 

But in what mole's labyrinth can the learned Feuerbach have 
been burrowing, that he does not know that some of the most 
eminent anthropologists of the present time — men who build their 
belief on a patient induction of objective facts — have admitted 
the phenomena and the hypothesis of Spiritualism? 

He has no doubt heard of the Darwinian theory; for it is a 
favorite one with the materialists, while at the same time it does 
not in the least disturb the Spiritualists. Among the Spiritual- 
ists of England is Mr. Alfred R. Wallace, a distinguished natu- 
ralist, who made explorations on the Amazon ; and of this 
gentleman. Dr. Hooker, the president of the British Scientific 
Association, spoke as follows, in his address at the meeting at 
Norwich, in August, 1868 : — 

" Many of the metaphysicians' objections have been contro- 
verted by that champion of natural selection, Mr. Darwin's true 
knight, 'Alfred R. Wallace, in his papers on * Protection,' in the 



•Westminster Review,' and * Creation hy Law,* in the 'Journal 
of Science,' October, 1867, &c., in which the doctrines of 
* Continual Interference,' the 'Theory of Beanty,' and kindred 
subjects, are discussed with admirable sagacity, knowledge, and 
skill ; but of Mr. Wallace, and his many contributions to philo- 
sophical biology, it is not easy to speak without enthusiasm ; 
for, putting aside their great merits, he, throughout his writings, 
with a modesty as rare as I believe it to be in him unconscious, 
forgets his own unquestionable claims to the honor of having 
originated, independently of Mr. Darwin, the theories which he 
so ably defends." 

Mr. Wallace's testimony to the facts of Spiritualism is there- 
fore that of a competent scientific man of the highest reputation ; 
and for such a man to be complacently set down, by a metaphy- 
sician in his closet, as the victim of his subjective imagination," 
is a reversal of the order of things. 

Mr. Karl Vogt (born 1817) is very intolerant of any facts of a 
spiritual tendency. He says, *' Phvysiology " {my physiology?) 
*** decides definitely and categorically against individual immor- 
tality, as against any special existence of the soul. The soul ♦ 
does not enter the foetus, like the evil spirit into persons possessed, 
but is a product of the development of the brain ; just as muscu- 
lar activity is a product of muscular development, and secretion 
a product of glandular development. . . . The foetus manifests 
no mental activity : this changes with the periods of life, and 
ceases altogether at death." 

Here is mere dogmatic assertion, without any proof or apology 
for proof. How does Mr. Vogt know that " the foetus manifests 
no mental activity" ? From the time of that Elizabeth, men- 

♦ In the "Ontology" of Dr. Doherty (TrUbner & Co., London), some of the 
most advanced facts of physiology are harmonized with those which Spiritualism 
reveals. " The spirit," says this writer, " forms the body in utero, by collecting and 
associating particles of matter from the blood of the mother to form organs ; and it 
sustains the physical organism during life by a constant interchange of atoms with the 
exterdtl world. It is the soul which originates the body, and adapts it to its own 
special functions." 


tioned by St. Luke, down to our own day, there are mothers by 
the million who will tell Mr. Vogt that his declaration is erro* 

Mr. Vogt labors through an entertaining volume, in which 
the language of science is diversified with that of sarcasm, to 
prove that we need not pass over many links of our genealogy 
to find apes for our ancestors. We have no special repugnance 
to the ape-theory. Many Spiritualists are inclined to it. The 
Darwinian hypothesis might become a certainty to-morrow, and 
it would not clash with the convictions of a man who knows 
that the phenomena proclaimed in this volume are substantially 
true ; and Spiritualism, while it encourages us to aspire to the 
attainments of the loftiest seraph, would, if rightly meditated, 
teach us a humility that would not shrink from sympathy with 
the creature that is lowest in the scale of being. 

But so far as Mr. Vogt's system rests on his ignorance of 
spiritual facts, it needs reconstruction, if he would have it 
conform with the science of the future. 

Dr. Moleschott (born 1822), who has acquired high distinction 
as an anthropologist, imagines, with the sanguine temperament 
of youth, that he has uttered the last word of science in regard 
to a certain class of facts, when he says, " Unprejudiced philos- 
ophy is compelled to reject the idea of an individual immortality 
and of a personal continuance after death.** 

So the philosophy which differs from that of Dr. Moleschott, 
and which refuses to accept his cheerful doctrine of the soul's 
annihilation, is a philosophy of prejudice*' ! Newton, LeibnitXi 
and the rest, were men of prejudice I 

With equal positiveness, the late Dr. Elliotson (who knew a 
good deal that Dr. Moleschott has yet to master) taught, for 
many years, in the Zoist," a materialism quite as dense and 
narrow as his. But, after he had lived threescore years and ten, 
he stumbled on one little fact, demonstrated to him by his senses 
and his reason, which shivered the "unprejudiced philosophy" 
of a lifetime as by a lightning-flash, and convinced him that tiie 
Spiritualists, with their vulgar intuitions and their stubborn 


experiences of spiritual intervention, were, after all, in the right, 
and that there t's a personal continuance after death.** 

Dr. Moleschott's philosophy is foredoomed to the same end ; 
for it rests on a repudiation of the positive testimony of a large 
portion of the human race up to the present time. Unless, like 
the man who refused to look through a microscope, because it 
would subvert his pet theory, he stubbornly persists in ignoring 
the great facts of Spiritualism, he must some day do as EUiotson 
did, and humbly acknowledge his error. The following lines 
of Beattie explain the rest : — 

" So feres the system-building sage, 
Who, plodding on from youth to age. 
Has proved all other reasoners fools, 
And bound all Nature by his rules ; 
So feres he in that dreadful hour 
When injured Truth exerts her power 
Some new pkenomenoti to raise^ 
Which, bursting on his frightened gaze. 
From its proud summit to the ground 
Proves the whole edifice unsound." 

There are hopeful tokens already in the more recent writings 
of Dr. Moleschott, that he is reconsidering his barren doctrine of 
the " all-mightiness of the transmutations of matter," in which 
he seems merely to have revamped some of the notions of 

The denial of the continuous life of man, after the dissolution 
of the material body, is a negation that never arises from knowU 
edge. It is not the exposition of any positive knowledge, but 
the mere dogmatic assertion that beyond the line of such knowl- 
edge there lies nothing more. This is why we regard as unphil- 
osophical and irrational the position of those who teach 
dogmatically that the phenomenon called death is the end of 
the conscious individualism of man. All such teaching is as 
imphilosophical and unscientific as it is arrogant and presump- 

The utmost that the materialist can rationally say, is, "I 
doubt the fact of a future life." To say " There is no future life," 


he ought to be the spirit whose existence he repudiates. If it 
requires spirit to reveal the fact of spirit, surely nothing less 
than spiritual authority is requisite to teach the fact of no-spirit. 
Thus the dogmatist against a future life is involved in a contra- 
diction. To teach the matter confidently, he ought to have an 
illumination, the possibility of which his theory utterly denies. 
No one but a seer has a right to say, " There is no life for man 
beyond the grave ; '* and the seer's own seership would give the 
lie to his assertion. The Pyrrhonist may be a philosopher; but 
the teacher of annihilation is simply a charlatan. 

The Spiritualist, on the contrary, having a knowledge of 
phenomena, mental and physical, proving to his satisfaction the 
existence of spiritual powers, would be false to his own legiti- 
mate convictions if he did not teach the great fact of immortal- 
ity as a certainty^ in view of which our mortal life ought to be 
shaped, and our thoughts and affections constantly refreshed by 
the sublime consciousness that death is a mere incident, which 
leaves the essential part of our being untouched ; and that we 
shall survive to study the infinite works of the Creator in other 
worlds, and to commune with the loved ones gone before, and 
the great and good of all ages, in progressive stages of being, 
with whicli this rudimental state, and our discipline here, shall 
be found hereafter to have been in perfect accord. 

Dr. Biichner has an easy way of disposing of certain incon- 
venient facts. He says, " Some of these phenomena, clairvoy- 
ance especially, have been laid hold of to prove the existence of 
the supernatural and supersensual. . . . All these things are 
now, by science and an interrogation of the facts, considered as 
idle fancies. . . . What the belief in sorcery, witchcraft, de- 
moniac possession, &c., was in former centuries, re-appears now 
under the agreeable forms of table-moving, spirit-rapping, psy- 
chography, somnambulism, &c. . . . There can be no doubt 
that all pretended cases of clairvoyance rest upon fraud or illu- 
sion. Clairvoyance, that is, perception of external objects with- 
out the aid of the. senses, is an impossibility. It is a law of 
nature, which cannot be gainsaid, that we require our eyes to 



see, our ears to hear, and that the senses are limited in their 
action by space." 

It would thus seem that Dr. BUchner, like his master, Mole- 
schott, bases his whole structure of atheistic materialism upon 
his ignorance of certain facts, known to be true at this day bj 
several millions of intelligent persons, and publicly proclaimed 
as true by several thousands. If he will open his eyes, he will 
find that he is behind the age. Even Dr. Carpenter and the 
** Edinburgh Review " admit the power of somnambulists to see 
through opaque substances, and to read without the normal use 
of their physical organs of sight. 

Dr. Maudsley, in his recent work on the ** Physiology and 
Pathology of the Mind," has presented the materialistic view of 
his subject with exhaustive ability ; but in doing this he has to 
ignore almost entirely the great facts of somnambulism. His 
reference to the subject is of the most meagre and casual kind. 
"Perhaps," he says (page 267), " no more fitting opportunity 
than the present will present itself for referring to the singular 
state of somnambulism." And then, after attributing the phe- 
nomena to the ** independent action of the sensorial and corre- 
sponding motor centres," he winds up with " a striking instance " 
that recently came under his observation. It is a story of a 
young sempstress who got up in the night and finished, in a 
state of somnambulism, the work on which she was engaged. 

And here is the moral he draws from the incident : " Soon the 
long day's task will be over with her, and she will sleep well 
where no troubles more can reach her, and no dream of work or 
sorrow disturb her slumbers." All which is simply a repetition 
of Chaumette*s epigraph in the days of the French revolution : 
" Death is an eternal sleep." An hypothesis which all the facts 
of somnambulism confute ! And yet to this momentous subject 
Dr. Maudsley gives less than two pages out of the four hundred 
and forty-two to which his volume extends. 

M. Georget, a much esteemed physiologist of the Paris school, 
appears to have arrived ultimately at a very different conclusion 
from that where Dr. Maudsley leaves us. Georget was the au- 


thor of a much esteemed work on the "Physiology of the Ner- 
vous System (1821)." In it he professed opinions, charged with 
materialism, very similar to those of Dr. Maudsley; but, after 
numerous experiences in magnetic somnarnbulism, Georget 
completely changed his views, and had the courage and good 
faith to avow it, and to give the avowal an added sanctity by 
incorporating it in his last will and testament, as follows : — 

" I must not conclude without an important declaration. In 
1821, in my work on the * Physiology of the Nervous System,* 
I boldly professed materialism. . . . This work had scarcely 
appeared, when renewed meditations on a very extraordinary 
phenomenon, somnambulism, no longer permitted me to enter- 
tain doubts of the existence within us, and external to us, of 
an intelligent principle, altogether different from material ex- 
istences ; in a word, of the soul and God. With respect to this 
I have a profound conviction, founded upon facts which I 
believe to be incontestable. This declaration will not see the 
light till a period when its sincerity will not be doubted, nor my 
intentions suspected. As I cannot publish it myself, I request 
those persons who may read it, on opening this will, that is to 
say, after my death, to give it all possible publicity." 

Anton Mesmer (1734-1815) bears much the same relation to 
animal magnetism that Miss Kate Fox does to modern Spiritu- 
alism. The fact of the influence of one human being by 
another, under certain conditions, through passes of the hand, 
or by the simple exercise of the will, was known and practised 
long before Mesmer introduced the subject anew to public atten- 
tion. Recent discoveries at Pompeii show that it was a mode 
of relief known there centuries ago. Plautus, in "Amphitryo," 
makes one of his characters ask, How if I stroke him slowly 
with the hand, so that he sleeps?'* These magnetic means of 
cure were not only practised, but directions for them were 
inscribed on sacred tables and pillars, and illustrated by pic- 
tures on the temple walls, so as to be intelligible to all. Apu- 
leius furnishes similar evidences of the ordinary practice by the 
Romans of magnetic manipulations, to induce somnambulism 



and clairvoyance. In Livy alone, there are more than fifty 
instances in which he refers to the literal fulfilment of dreams, 
oracles, prognostics by seers, &c. 

It was Mesmer's theory, that the universe is submerged in an 
eminently subtle fluid, which he thought should be named ani- 
mal-magnetic fluid, because it can be compared to the fluid of 
the magnet; that this fluid impregnates all bodies, and trans- 
mits to them the impression of motion ; that it insinuates itself 
into, and circulates through, all the fibres of the nervous system ; 
and that it may be accumulated, when the magnetizer wills it, 
in buckets, tubs, &c., and especially in the organs of the magnet- 
izer who transmits it to the magnetized. This hypothetical 
fluid will remind the classical reader of the chain uniting all 
beings" of Hesiod, and the ** soul of the world" of Plato. 

With Mesmer's operations began the modern interest in ani^ 
mal magnetism, whatever its antiquity may be. In 1778, he 
arrived in Paris, and for five or six years made a great noise by 
his experiments. The king appointed a commission, consisting 
of five members of the Royal Academy, and four members of 
the Faculty of Medicine, to report upon Mesmer's exhibition. 
Franklin was a member of the commission ; but he was at the 
time unwell, and unable to attend its sittings. 

The commission, in their elaborate Report, allow that in what 
they witnessed, there was something that seemed the working 
of a mysterious agent. They reduced Mesmer's exhibitions to 
four classes : first, those which could be explained on physio- 
logical grounds ; second, those which were contrary to the laws 
of magnetism ; third, those where the imagination of the mes- 
merized person was the source of the phenomena ; and fourth, 
facts which led them to admit a special agent. One member of 
the commission, the eminent Laurent de Jussieu, became a con- 
vert to Mesmer's views, and testified to "several well-verified 
facts, independent of the imagination." 

In the year 1826, the French Academy of Medicine appointed 
a second commission. They labored diligently for five years, 
and presented a report (June, 1831) through Dr. Husson. It is 


signed by nine members of the commission, two only, Messrs. 
Double and Magendie, having declined to assist at the investi- 
gations. The commission admit nearly all the important facts 
of animal magnetism. 

" It is demonstrated to us," they declare, " that magnetic 
sleep has been produced in circumstances where the magnetized 
persons have not been able to see or gain any knowledge of the 
means employed to determine it." The magnetizer being in a 
separate apartment, and the subject wholly unaware of his inten- 
tion, the sleep was induced through the mere operation of the 
magnetizer*s will. We have ourselves repeatedly tested this 
phenomenon here admitted by the commission. 

The Report speaks of a terrible operation (the removal of the 
right breast) which was performed by M. Cloquet upon Madame 
Plantin. , During the twelve minutes that the operation lasted, 
the invalid, previously magnetized, ** continued to converse 
calmly with the operator, giving not the slightest evidence of 

The late Dr. Valentine Mott, of New York, who was present 
at this operation, added his personal testimony in our presence 
to the truth of the foregoing statement. 

In regard to clairvoyance, the commission report several 
facts. Among others, they speak of a law student, M. Villa- 
grand, whose eyelids were kept closed by the different members 
of the commission; but who, nevertheless, recognized cards 
entirely new, and read from a book open before him. In short, 
the interior life, the perception of the state of the body, the 
prevision of crises, the instinctive prescription of remedies, are 
forcibly attested in the Report. 

"The magnetized person," it says, "can not only be acted 
upon, but he can, without his knowledge, be thrown into and 
aroused from a complete somnambulic condition, when the 
operator is out of his sight, at a certain distance from him, and 
separated by doors. . . . The phenomenon of clairvoyance takes 
place even with the fingers pressed tightly over the eyelids. 
The previsions of two somnambulists, relative to their health, 
were realized with remarkable accuracy." 



•The Academy was rather astonished at the Report, and for a 
long time refused to discuss it. But the experiments continued 
to multiply. Insensibility to pain, during terrible operations, 
was one of the phenomena that was regarded as most wonder- 
ful. Pistols were discharged close to the heads of the somnam- 
bulists without making them start; without even interrupting 
the sentence they had commenced. 

Facts like these could not long be ignored, nor could the 
Report of the eleven commissioners be silently consigned to 
oblivion. The Academy then decided to discuss it; and the 
result was, that they refused to print the Report, voting only 
for the autograph copy, which, as Count Gasparin tells us, re- 
mains shut up in the archives of the Academy of Medicine! 
"To deny these phenomena," he says, "one must also deny 
natural somnambulism, assuredly not less extraordinary than 
magnetic somnambulism. Inasmuch as the existence of nat- 
ural somnambulists cannot be denied (and who will deny it?), 
little will be gained by contesting mesmerism." 

M. Georget, to whom we have already referred, thus ex- 
presses himself : "My somnambulists are so insensible to sound, 
that the very loudest noises, produced unexpectedly to them, do 
not cause them the slightest emotion. Yet they will always 
hear the magnetizer." A phenomenon we have ourselves fre- 
quently experienced in somnambulists; as we also have the 
following, described by M. Rostan : " The outward life ceases ; 
the somnambulist lives within himself, completely isolated from 
the exterior world ; this isolation is especially complete for the 
two senses of sight and hearing. . . . The eyes of the majority 
of somnambulists are so insensible to light, that the lashes have 
been burned without their testifying the least impression ; if the 
lids are raised, and the fingers passed rapidly in front of the 
eye, the immobility remains complete. . . . And yet they are 
conscious of the objects which surround them ; they avoid with 
the greatest address obstacles in their path." 

The French commissioners mention some experiments in 
which rare powers of detecting disease were manifested by 



somnambulists. Internal symptoms, inappreciable to the eye, 
were described by them, and the correctness of the descrfp- 
tion afterwards verified by a post-mortem examination of the 

M. de J^uysegur says of a peasant whom he had magnetized, 
"I have compelled him to move quickly about on his seat, as if 
dancing to a tune, which, singing mentally myself, I made him 
repeat aloud. ... I have no occasion to speak to him ; I think 
in his presence; he understands and answers me." 

" Having performed," says Dr. Bertrand, " on my first som- 
nambulist the process by which I usually awakened her, exer- 
cising at the same time a firm will to the contrary, she was 
seized with strong convulsive movements. * What is the matter 
with you?' said I. * Indeed,' she replied, *you tell me to awake, 
and yet you do not will that I shall awake.' " Dr. Bertrand says 
that he has thrown into the somnambulic state a person a hun- 
dred leagues from him. 

M. Filassier relates that a young somnambulist described at 
Paris, minute by minute, the various acts, the attitudes, and 
even the secret thoughts of her mother, who was at Arcis-sur- 
Aube. "Every possible precaution," he adds, "was taken to 
ascertain the truth regarding this vision into space. The 
inquiry was conducted by a family of intelligence and strict 
integrity, in connection with some conscientious physicians. 
The lucidness of Mile. Clarice was in all cases justified by the 

The celebrated Arago, in an article on Mesmerism, says, 
"The man who, outside of pure mathematics, pronounces the 
word if/tposs/dlcy is wanting in prudence. . . . Nothing, for 
example, in all the wonders of somnambulism, is looked upon 
with more mistrust than an oft-repeated assertion touching the 
faculty, possessed by certain persons in a crisis state, of decipher- 
ing a letter at a distance by means of the foot, the hand, or the 
stomach. Yet, I do not doubt that the suspicions of even 
the most rigidly critical minds will be removed, after having 
reflected on the ingenious experiments in which Moser pro- 


ducedf also at a distance, very distinct images of all sorts of 
objects on all sorts of bodies, and in the most complete daiit- 

** The phenomena we are made to observe in somnambulism," 
snys Deleuze, "demonstrate the distinction of the. two sub- 
»tAnceSt the double existence of the interior man and of the 
exterior man in the same individual : they offer the direct proof 
of the spirituality of the soul, and the answer to all objections 
that have been raised against its immortality." "Among the 
men who have made magnetism their study, there are, unfortu- 
nately, some materialists. I cannot conceive how it is possible 
that many of the phenomena witnessed by them — such as sight 
at a distance, prevision, the action of the will, the communica- 
tion of the thoughts without external signs — could have failed to 
appear in their eyes as sufficient proof of the spirituality of the 

"The repose of the outer," says Townshend, "is an absolute 
condition for the revelation of the inner, sensibility. We all may 
feel that, in order to call up before our mind*s eye the face of a 
dear friend, or the beauties of a familiar landscape, we must 
retreat from the obtrusive impulses of the external world. 
Would we rise to a yet higher discernment of remembered 
objects, we must yet more calmly check the beating of our 
pulses, until we pass into that state of mind so beautifully- 
described by Wordsworth, — 

• That serene and blessed mood 
In which the affections gently lead us on, 
Until the breath of this corporeal frame, 
And even the motion of our human blood 
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep 
In body, and become a living soul : 
While, with an eye made quiet by the power 
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy. 
Wo see into the life of things.* 

**Th<* we»meric vision, or clairvoyance, has been gravely and 
giHi)\\Uy pronounced to be * physically and physiologically im- 


possible.' How can we reply to this? Only, I suppose, as 
Pascal did to some one who asserted that it was impossible 
for God, being so great, to busy himself about our little world, — 
* To decide such a question, one ought to be great indeed.* " 

Impossible is nowhere to be found, 
Except, perhaps, in the fool's calendar." 

Dr. Edwin Lee, in his " Report upon the Phenomena of Clair- 
voyance " (London, 1843), mentions the case of the prediction 
of the death of the king of Wiirtemberg by two different som- 
nambulists: the one having foretold the event four years 
beforehand ; the other, in the spring of the same year, mentioned 
the exact day, in the month of October, as also the disease 

" The exact cofhcidence," says Dr. Lee, " of the event with 
the predictions is not doubted at Stuttgard; and, a fortnight 
ago, Dr. Klein, who is now in England, accompanying the 
Crown Prince of Wtirtemberg, having been introduced to me, I 
took the opportunity of asking him about the circumstance, 
which he acknowledged was as has been stated, saying, more- 
over, that his father was physician to the king, who, on the 
morning of the day on which the attack occurred, was in very 
good health and spirits." 

Shelley, the poet, appears to have been partially somnambulic 
on several occasions. He was also sensitive to mesmeric influ- 
ence. Williams, who was drowned with Shelley, says in a note 
in his diary shortly before the event, " After tea, walked with 
Shelley on the terrace. . . . Observing him sensibly affected, 
I depianded of him if he was in pain; but he only answered, 
by saying, * There it is again I there ! * He recovered after some 
time, and declared that he saw, as plainly as he then saw me, a 
naked child (Byron's Allegra, who had recently died) rise from 
the sea, and clasp its hands as if in joy, smiling at him. This 
was a trance that it required some reasoning and philosophy to 
wake him from entirely, so forcibly had the visions operated on 
his mind." 



Almost every family has its tradition of some event like the 
following: The Pacific Hotel, in St. Louis, was destroyed by 
fire in February, 1858; and twenty-one lives were lost on the 
occasion. On the night of the fire, a little brother of Mr. Henry 
Rochester, living at home with his parents, near Avon, in the 
State of New York, awoke some time after midnight with 
screaming and tears, saying that the hotel in St. Louis was on 
fire, and that his brother Henry was burning to death. So 
intense were his alarm and horror, that it was with considerable 
difliculty he could be quieted. On the following day, at noon, 
the parents received a telegram from St. Louis, confirming the 
little boy's dream in every particular. 

Well-authenticated instances of spontaneous clairvoyance like 
this could be collected from the newspapers of the last ten years 
till the record would fill volumes. Not many years, since a New- 
Orleans merchant, being in Paris, woke up from sleep one night, 
having heard, as he thought, the voice of his son uttering the 
words, "Father, I*m dying." So much impressed was he by 
this, that he got out of bed, lighted a candle, and made a record 
of the occurrence, stating the exact hour by the clock, in his 
note-book. When he arrived in New Orleans, a few weeks 
afterwards, the first friend he met told him of his son*s death, 
and added, " His last words were, * Father, Tm dying.* '* The 
merchant took out his note-book, pointed to the record, 
and afterwards learned that his son had died at the precise hour 
named, after making the proper allowance for difference of longi- 
tude between Paris and New Orleans. 

Bacon recognizes a natural divination proceeding from the 
internal power of the soul. " The mind," he tells us, " abstracted 
or collected in itself, and not diff'used in the organs of the body, 
has, from the natural power of its own essence, some foreknowl- 
edge of future things ; and this appears chiefly in sleep, ecstasies, 
and the near approach of death." 

"The phenomena of clairvoyance, prevision, and second 
sight," says De Boismont, " depend on a sudden illumination 
of the cerebral organ, which calls into activity sensations that 
have hitherto lain dormant." 


Rather do they depend, we should say, on an intromission 
from latent spiritual forces, called into action by some abnormal 
conditions affecting the relations of the physical to the spiritual 

De Boismont, whose work on *' Hallucinations" (Paris, 1852) 
has a high reputation in France, admits that some cases of 
prevision " appear to spring from an enlarged faculty of per- 
ception, a supernatural tntuitioji.** 

To our instances of clairvoyance in dreams, we add the follow- 
ing perfectly well-authenticated case, related (1858) by the Rev. 
Dr. Horace Bushnell. *' As I sat by the fire," he says, " one 
stormy November night, in a hotel-parlor, in the Napa Valley 
of California, there came in a most venerable and benignant- 
looking person, with his wife. The stranger was Captain Yount, 
a man who came over into California, as a trapper, more than 
forty years ago. Here he has lived, apart from the great world 
and its questions, acquiring an immense landed estate, and 
becoming a kind of acknowledged patriarch in the country. 
His tall, manly person, and his gracious, paternal look, as 
totally unsophisticated in the expression as if he had never 
heard of a philosophic doubt or question in his life*, marked him 
as the true patriarch. 

"The conversation turned, I know not how, on spiritism and 
the modern necromancy; and he discovered a degree of incli- 
nation to believe in the reported mysteries. His wife, a much 
younger person, and apparently a Christian, intimated that 
probably he was predisposed to this kind of faith by a very pe- 
culiar experience of his own, and evidently desired that he might 
be drawn out by some intelligent discussion of his queries. 

** At my request, he gave me his story. About six or seven 
years previous, in a mid-winter's night, he had a dream, in which 
he saw what appeared to be a company of emigrants, arrested 
by the snows of the mountains, and perishing rapidly by cold 
and hunger. He noted the very cast of the scenery, marked by 
a huge perpendicular front of white-rock cliff ; he saw the men 
cutting oflf wkat appeared to be tree-tops rising out of deep 



gulfs of snow; he distinguished the very features of the persons, 
and the look of their particular distress. 

He woke, profoundly impressed with the distinctness and 
apparent reality of his dream. At length he fell asleep, and 
dreamed exactly the same dream again. In the morhing he 
could not expel it from his mind. Falling in, shortly, with an 
old hunter comrade, he told him the story, and was only the 
more deeply impressed by his recognizing, without hesitation, 
the scenery of the dream. This comrade had come over the 
Sierra by the Carson-Valley Pass, and declared that a spot in 
the pass answered exactly to his description. By this the unso- 
phisticated patriarch was decided. He immediately collected a 
company of men, with mules and blankets and all necessary 
provisions. The neighbors were laughing, meantime, at his 
credulity. * No matter,* said he : * I am able to do this, and I 
will ; for I verily believe that the fact is according to my dream.' 
The men were sent into the mountains, one hundred and fifty 
miles distant, directly to the Carson- Valley Pass. And there 
they found the company in exactly the condition of the dream, 
and brought in the remnant alive." 

Dr. Bushnell adds, that a gentleman present said to him, 
" You need have no doubt of this ; for we Californians all know 
the facts and the names of the families brought in, who now 
look upon our venerable friend as a sort of savior." These 
names he gave, together with the residence of each; and Dr. 
Bushnell avers that he found the Californians everywhere ready 
to second the old man's testimony. " Nothing could be more 
natural than for the good-hearted patriarch himself to add that 
the brightest thing in his life, and that which gave him the 
greatest joy, was his simple faith in that dream." 

luHtances similar to the foregoing could be multiplied indefi- 
nitely. Wc have heard of the case of the brother of an ancestor 
ol'our own, whose ship was struck by lightning, the consequence 
of which was that he and his crew were compelled to escape 
lV\>m the wreck in the long-boat, where they were exposed for 
mauy days, at an inclement season, in the middle of the Atlantic. 


The captain of a vessel sailing from the same port dreamed of 
seeing them, and was so vividly impressed by the vision, that 
he determined on altering his course, and going back in search 
of the boat. This he did, against the expostulations of his 
mates. On the morning of the third day he fell in with the 
boat, and rescued the occupants of it. 

The phenomena of clairvoyance in the somnambulism induced 
by mesmerism were first noticed, in modern times, in the year 
1784, bf the Marquis de Puys^gur, a disciple of Mesmer. That 
these phenomena afford conclusive evidence of spiritual faculties 
latent in man, and developed under certain circumstances even 
in this life, is a conviction at which most persons, who have 
given much thought to the subject, have finally arrived. We 
see no escape from the conviction. The added marvels of 
Spiritualism are hardly needed to give it force; but let them be 
none the less welcome on that account. 

We need not multiply instances of clairvoyance, clairau- 
dience, &c. The fact is established, if any fact can be by 
human testimony. It needs but a single experiment with Mr. 
Charles H. Foster, in pellet-reading, to shatter the most elab- 
orate structure of Sadducean materialism from turret to founda- 
tion-stone. If the faculties of sight and hearing, in their highest 
manifestations, are not dependent on their proper physical 
organs, who can rationally argue that they are likely to be 
destroyed by the dissolution of the physical body itself ? 

Mr. S. B. Brittan, one of the earliest to accept the facts of 
phenomenal Spiritualism, remarks, ** The individuality of man 
does not belong to his body ; but inheres in a supra-mortal and 
indestructible constitution. . . . Within this corporeal frame there 
is another body of more ethereal elements. ... If there were no 
inward form or spiritual constitutioh, the molecular eliminations 
would periodically destroy the identity of man." 

" Our soul," says Joubert, " is ever fully alive. It is so in the 
sick ; in those who have fainted ; in the dying ; it is still morp 
alive after death." 

"The soul," says Zschokke, himself a clairvoyant, "has the 



faculty directly, and without inference, both of perceiving occur- 
. fences at a distance, and of being sensible of future events. The 
ancients, who knew as much as we do of the properties of the 
human soul, observed this inexplicable power of perception 
and foresight, especially in cases of nervous weakness, and in 
the dying." 

That the instances of clairvoyance on the part of the ancient 
oracles were numerous, no student of history can deny, without 
rejecting, through simple prejudice, a vast amount of explicit 
and concurrent human testimony. The genuineness of the 
oracles was conceded by Justin Martyr, Athenagoras, Theophi- 
lus of Alexandria, Tatian, Clemens Alexandrinus, Origen, Eu- 
sebius, Athanasius, Chrysostom, Cyril Alexandrinus, and others 
of the Greek fathers ; and by Minucius Felix, Cyprian, Tertullian, 
Lactantius, Maternus-Firnicius, Jerome, Augustine, and others 
of the Latin. Thus, Augustine writes, "They [the spirits] for 
the most part foretell what they are about to perform ; for often 
they receive power to send diseases by vitiating the atmosphere. 
Sometimes they predict what they foresee by natural signs, 
which signs transcend human sense; at others they learn, by 
outward bodily tokens, human plans, even though unspoken, 
and thus foretell things to the astonishment of those ignorant 
of the existence of such plans." 

The Jews before Christ, and the Fathers after, believed that 
departed spirits lurked about images, spoke in oracles, controlled 
omens, and in various ways encouraged men to worship them. 

If human testimony is to be taken as of any account, com- 
pared with the mere speculations of closet professors, putting 
forth decisions on matters they refuse to investigate practically, 
this question of spiritual phenomena is decided. "Why, then," 
asks Cicero, " doubt the certainty of this argument, if reason 
consent, if facts, people, nations, Greeks, barbarians, our ances- 
tors, and the universal faith ? If chief philosophers, poets, the 
wisest of men, founders of republics, builders of cities? Or, 
discarding the united consent of the human kind, shall we wait 
for brutes to speak ? " 


" Si divinatio est, dii sunt," if there is divination^ there must be 
gods (or spirits), was a common saying of the ancient Romans. 
One authentic instance of clairvoyance satisfied them of the 
great fact of spiritual existence. 

"That we should rather evolve from our present corporeal 
elements the body that is to be ours, than begin existence de 
novo^** says Townshend; "that, in other words, we should really 
possess a fundamental life, or body, incapable of passing away 
with the grosser covering that envelops it; that, at death, we 
should retain something physically from our actual condition, — 
seems pointed out to us by all the analogies of nature. 

" Everywhere we behold that one state includes the embryo 
of the next, not metaphysically, but materially; and entering 
on a new scene of existence is not so much a change as a con- 
tinuation of what went before. The very rudiments of organs, 
intended in a higher stage of animal life to be useful, are found, 
uselessly, as it were, appearing in the lower classes of animated 
creatures ; or, stranger still, lying in embryo in the same creat- 
ure in one state, only to be developed in another. The wings 
that form the butterfly lie folded in the worm. 

"We should, then, a friori, expect to find the principle that 
individualizes man, and is the true medium of his instruction, 
attached to him from the beginning, and that the germs of 
future capacities, physical not less than intellectual, should b^ 
discoverable in his constitution. 

"The dissolution of this coarser covering is, by us, called 
death ; that is, we seem unto men to die : but with our inner 
body we never part; and, consequently, by that we still retain 
our hold upon individual existence. As Leibnitz has remarked, 
' There is no such thing as death, if that word be understood with 
rigorous and metaphysical accuracy. The soul never quits com- 
pletely the body with which it i^s united, nor does it pass from one 
body into another with which it had no connection before: a 
^metamorphosis takes place ; but there is no metempsychosis.' ♦ 

* Meta mor/hosUy a change of form cr shape ; transfonnation. MtUmpsyckosit% 
the passage of the soul from one body into another. 


** Man 18 shown by the facts of mesmerism to be capable of 
increased sensitive power. To what end, if hereafter this in- 
crease of power become not permanent? Would wings be 
folded in the worm if they were not one day to enable it to fly? 
We cannot think so poorly of creative power, or of thrifty 
nature. . . . Wretched, indeed, must be the view of man which 
confines him to this bank and shoal of time ; which does not 
regard him, and all his glorious endowments, as intended /or a 
series of existences^ 

"What do we understand by the term spiritual says the 
Rev. B. F. Bowles. " May we not all agree upon the common 
idea that the spiritual is the unseen, and, to our senses, intan- 
gible? I think we may. Now, that there is an unseen force 
within us, constituting our interior personality, and that mani- 
fests itself through these outward forms, seems self-evident. It 
is this that is the source of all outward action, and that receives 
from without all impressions. It is this that constitutes the lot 
the me<, and to which we refer when we use these pronouns. 
We are all conscious of this unseen self. And when we speak 
of seeing, of hearing, of tasting, of smelling, of feeling, we 
refer to a being who possesses all these senses, but who exists 
behind the organs of their outward manifestation. I do not 
properly say * my eye sees,* or * my hand feels,* but rather * / see 
through my eye,* and * feel with or through my hand.' Nor do I 
say, * my brain thinks,* but * / think with my brain.* And our 
common consciousness approves. 

"And the one who possesses all these senses is never seeu, 
I never have seen you, nor you me. We have only seen the 
manifestations of each other. The individual who dwells in 
either of the living forms before me, or the one who occupied 
the form that is dead, has never to material senses been tangible. 
We have never come directly in contact with him or her, but 
always through the mediation of the outer form. Each of us, 
then, in our real self, answers to the common idea of spirit: 
we are intangible. 

"And, again, each of us, in his voluntary action, betrays 


purposes and desires, intelligence and thought; and surely we 
cannot attribute these to tangible matter. It would be repug- 
nant to all our sense of fact, to affirm that flesh could think and 
purpose. We inevitably refer all such action to the unseen. It 
is the unseen one that loves, and that we love. 

"And now with reference to the spiritual body^ it seems 
natural to conclude that these secret powers exist in combina- 
tiouy forming an interior being. We refer them all to one, and 
yet each is distinct. The same being sees, thinks, and loves. 
And yet seeing, thinking, and loving are quite different. There 
is, then, an organization interior to this physical organization, 
possessing in itself each of the senses, and all of the intellectual 
and emotional power we see expressed through the exterior 
form. And, being so, it is in a proper sense a body. It is in all 
things, but its texture, like the body we see. Only in this (its 
texture), can we mention aught that the body possesses that the 
spirit hath not. Indeed, except this and the shape of humanity, 
the body hath nothing when the spirit hath gone out. It hath 
no senses, no power. Here, then, we have not only the exist- 
ence of a spirit, but a spiritual body^ in the sense of organi- 

"But what of its substance? Hath it substance? or, is it 
without? I have often received the impression from friends, 
that they supposed a spirit to be without substance. Perhaps 
they had no clear conception of what a spirit is. Perhaps I was 
unable to receive their conception. But, so far as able, it 
seemed to be, in the words of another, * the most definite con- 
ception of nothing ever given to mankind.' And yet I think 
it manifest that spirit hath substance. To see this truth, let us 
inquire what we mean by substance. Do we mean 9ome particu- 
lar thing? No; for every thing is substance. Do we not mean 
by this term something, in distinction from xr^thing? Can we 
mean any thing else? Borrowing an illustration, then, think 
of the millions of human bodies now being moved about by 
spirits. They would all stop, were the spirits to go out. Is this 
immense amount of substance moved without substance, 
moved by nothing? 



" Further, to illustrate, think of the material universe all in 
motion. Go with the astronomer and count the worlds. En- 
deavor, then, to conceive of those unseen even by him. Ask 
yourselves of the immensity of their weight. You cannot 
answer. Well, they are all upheld; they are all in motion with 
inconceivable velocity. And by what? By nothing? By no 
substance, which is nothing? No; but by spirit, which is the 
greatest of all things. By an immeasurable organization of 
spirit. By that which constitutes all that is unchangeable 
in the universe. By God, who is a spirit, * without vai:iable- 
ness or shadow of turning.* And the effort to conceive of God 
without substance, is perilous to our conviction of his ex- 
istence. And so of the human spirit. In such an attempt, 
we grapple with the impossible, and are worsted in the stnig- 

" In spirituality, then, I think you must bear me witness, there 
is nothing to forbid the thought that spirits out of the flesh 
reach and affect those in the flesh, thus triumphing over the 
death of the body. It becomes, then, a question of fact^ to be 
determined by other data. In the absence of experience., this 
may be doubted^ but not on this ground dented. In the pres- 
ence of experience, and on the part of such as have the 
evidence of their own senses to this point, it must be aflirmed. 
By the use of their senses they are to be judged, and must 

** Such is some of the evidence I draw from our common knowl- 
edge; such the inferences from common ground, and which, for 
this reason, I think should find general acceptance. Evidence 
that * there is a spiritual body^* indestructible ^ independent of the 
physical, and hence immortal." 

It will be seen, however, as we proceed, that the spiritual 
hypothesis is not the only one which human ingenuity has 
invented for the phenomena of clairvoyance and of Spiritual- 
ism. Mr. H. G. Atkinson, who was associated with Miss Mar- 
tineau some years since in the authorship of an atheistic book, 
in which some of the phenomena of mesmerism were accepted 



and attributed, as they were by Dr. Elliotson,* to exclusively 
material causes, professes to be not at all inconvenienced by the 
added wonders of Spiritualism. He admits them all, but is too 
uncompromising a Comtean to allow that they point to any 
thing outside of this barrier of flesh and blood. 

Seers and spirits may protest as much as they please; nay, 
the latter may show themselves in their habits as they lived, — 
Mr. Atkinson is inexorable. 

"I think it can now be shown," he says, referring to the 
spiritual phenomena, " that there is not any very essential dis- 
tinction bcttveen these extraordinary facts and the ordinary ones 
of every-day life ! " 

Shut out from the spiritual hypothesis by his whole past phi- 
losophy, Mr. Atkinson consoles himself, after the manner of the 
antediluvian philosopher, who, according to the profane, was 
shut out from the ark by Noah, and who revenged himself 
on the patriarch by telling him that **itwas no sort of conse- 
quence ; for he believed it was not going to be much of a shower 
after all." 

A fact of importance, in connection with the history of 
animal magnetism, has been recently brought to light by the 
French Spiritualists. This fact is no other than that the 
magnetists of France anticipated, by at least half a century, 
the knowledge, since made the world's property by the events 

* Dr. Elliotson surpassed even Mr. Atkinson in the enthusiasm with which he 
sought in a bald materialism for a sufficient explanation of the phenomena of life. 
But, as we have already seen (page 20), Dr. Elliotson came right at last. The " Lon- 
don Spiritual Magazine " tells us that when modem Spiritualism was introduced, he 
was one of the most scornful of its opponents. He separated himself on the question 
from his old friend and colleague in the management of the "Zolst," Dr. Ashburner; 
l<) whom it must have been a source of great satisfaction, after years of estrangement, 
that Dr. Elliotson's conviction of the truth of Spiritualism was the means of re-estab- 
lishing their former friendship. Spiritualism was not with Dr. Elliotson a conviction 
barren of results. It revolutionized the philosophy of a lifetime. He bitterly 
lamented the misdirected efforts he had made, however conscientiously, in the pro- 
mulgation of materialistic principles. He became a thoroughly changed man, and 
changed in all respects for tlie better. ^ 




at H^desville ; a fact which is proved by the publication of the 
correspondence of the two celebrated French magnetic philoso- 
phers, Messrs. Billot and Deleuze, in two volumes, in 1836. This 
correspondence commenced in 1829; and in it we find M. Billot 
asserting that there are none of these marvellous things that he 
has not witnessed during the last thirty years.* 

This carries his knowledge of spiritual phenomena back as 
far as 1789, the period of the commencement of the French 
Revolution ; into the period, in fact, of Lavater, Jung-Stilling, 
Kerner, Goethe, San Martin, &c. These phenomena, not only 
known to, but avowed by, those distinguished men, were, it now 
appears, equally well known to MM. Billot and Deleuzc, who, 
as scientific men, had not, however, dared to reveal them. The 
sects of the Initiated and the Illuminati were well acquainted 
with these phenomena in the seventeenth and eighteenth cen- 
turies; and the only difference to note is, that then they were 
familiar only to a few who kept the knowledge of them to a 
certain extent secret, and that now they are familiar to the pub- 
lic at large. 

But there is another circumstance especially noteworthy in 
this discovery of Spiritualism amongst the magnetists, which is, 
that the class of scientific men among them has been as a body 
stoutly opposed to the admission of Spiritualism as a fact. In 
England, we know with what pertinacity Dr. EUiotson and 
others resisted for many years the conviction that spiritual 
phenomena underlie those of magnetism; or, in other words, 
mesmerism. So in France, Dupotet, Morin, and the rest of 
them fought hard against this conviction ; and so much so, that 
M. Morin, the successor of Baron Dupotet, has constantly re- 
sisted the invitations of the Spiritualists to witness spiritual 

Here, however, we have the curious fact of two of the most 

* For this abstract of the correspondence, we are largely indebted to a paper by 
M^TiUiain Howitt (July, 1868). We can mention no man who has been more earnest, 
inde&tis&blet and courageous in his advocAy of the truths of Spiritualism than Mr. 


celebrated magnetic philosophers of France, avowing after a 
concealment of the fact through a career of half a century, that 
they all the time, whilst prosecuting their magnetic inquiries, 
had become fully aware of other and still more wonderful phe- 
nomena supervening and arising out of those inquiries which 
they prosecuted with no such expectations. These arose like 
apparitions upon them, startling and astonishing them, like the 
genius which stood before Aladdin when he rubbed his lamp, 
meaning only to polish it, and with no idea further from his 
mind than that his friction was the invocation of a spirit. So 
MM. Billot and Deleuze, experimenting only in magnetism, 
and expecting none but strictly natural though abstruse results, 
found that they were pressing on those secret and mysterious 
springs and laws of life which awake the attention of the 
inhabitants of the invisible, and cause them to manifest their 

It is still more remarkable that these two great magnetists — 
who had published, each, work after work, and whose names 
were famous in that science — did not work in company, or with 
a knowledge of each other's proceedings. They had each their 
own avowed theory, differing greatly one from the other; and 
these they had propounded and defended with zeal and persist- 
ency, till they h^d acquired a certain character of antagonism. 
All this time, however, their writings bore to the ordinary reader 
no traces of any thing but the legitimate facts and doctrines of 
magnetism. But, to these great antagonist magnates of science, 
there was something in their language which awoke a more 
than ordinary sensation in each other; and, opening a corre- 
spondence, they began to approach each other, putting forth the 
delicate feelers of an intense curiosity, grounded on a conviction 
that each possessed secret knowledge that he had not yet laid 
open to the light, and that this knowledge was, in reality, the 
property of both. They had each a consciousness that, whilst 
they had been going along separate and even hostile paths, they 
had been treading the very satpe enchanted ground, and were 
twins in a life which they had hitherto hidden from each other 
and from mankind. 



On the 24th of March, 1829, M. Deleuze wrote to M. Billot, 
complaining that certain magnetizers made their experiments 
out of mere curiosity. To this implied censure Billot replied, 
on the 9th of April, that modern magnetizers had many humilia- 
tions to suffer from the jealousies of their confreres; but he now 
abandoned his cause to God, who had done great things'for him. 
"Yes!" said he, advancing more boldly, "I have seen, I have 
understood all that it is permitted to man to see and know ! " 
Still going further in his enthusiasm, and stimulated by the 
conviction that Deleuze himself had arrived at discoveries like 
his own, he says, " Permit me to observe that all that you write 
seems to me to betray une arrihre fensde (an after thought). 
Your theory is only a solemn ruse to avoid scandalizing the 
espriis forts who will have nothing of the positive." 

The ice was now broken, and the two great magnetists pro- 
ceed to make a clean breast of it to each other. M. Billot, never- 
theless, is by far the more open, and is ready to throw off the 
cautious disguise that they both had worn for so many years. 
It turns out, in the end, that they have seen nearly all the phe- 
nomena of modern Spiritualism, — apparitions, elevations of the 
person into the air, the fact of material substances being brought 
by spirits, obsessions and possessions by spirits, and nearly all 
the wonders which the ancient philosophers and the priests of 
different churches have declared as truths; and all this, be 
it remembered, long before the knockings at Hydesville opened 
up the great drama of renewed spirit-intercourse in our time. 
But it will be interesting to trace this remarkable correspond- 
ence a little further in its natural course. 

On the 27th February, 1830, M. Billot writes to M. Deleuze, 
assuring him that he stated to him the whole truth regarding 
the extraordinary phenomena manifested through his clairvoy- 
ante. Mademoiselle Mathieu, and that he will never deviate 
from this in his communication of his experiences ; and he pro- 
ceeds to reveal to him things which, he says, he will probably 
regand as reveries, and then adds, "You would not have com- 
bated the theory of spirits for these forty years, if, like me, vou 


had had under your eyes and your hands the masses of facts 
which have compelled me to adopt it." He then gives some 
curious facts concerning a clairvoyante in a state of wake- 

Deleuze, on the 15th of May, avows that he has seen lucids 
in that state. "Dr. Chase," he says, *^reports having seen the 
same; "'and then he makes the candid confession, "I have 
suppressed many things in my works, because it was not yet the 
time to disclose them." Billot, on the i6th of June, tonches 
on certain particulars of somnambulism, which Deleuze in his 
writings had affected to treat as inexplicable ; but he insinuates 
that he is quite satisfied that they now understand each other on 
these points. After referring to various passages in Deleuze*8 
writings, " between us. Monsieur," continues Billot, " what 
need of so much reserve ? In spite of your reticences, I under- 
stand you." 

In his reply, on the 24th of September, Deleuze treats of 
matter at great length, and at first professes to think that the 
only thing which proves the communication of spirits with us, 
are apparitions; but again, thawing a little more, he says, 
if his health permit, he will write an article in the ** Hermes " on 
psychical phenomena, in which he will free himself from the 
reserve which he too, hitherto, imposed on himself, and of 
which M. Billot has divined the real cause. "These facts," 
he says, "are now so numerous and so well known, that it is 
time to speak the truth." 

On the 24th of June, 183 1, M. Billot wrote to M. Deleuze, 
that in reading his works, he had seen that certain phenomena 
had been already familia/ to him before he himself had entered 
on his career, and that there wasihothing o£ the marvellous of 
which he had not been a witness during the thirty or forty years 
of his magnetic experience. " If you have not made mention 
of these things," he added, "you have lost your reason for 
keeping silence." To this M. Deleuze, on the 9th of July, re- 
plied that he had designedly avoided the statement of nfervel- 
I0U8 factg, considering it not always necessary to show thes« to 



the incredulous, as being indeed not the most likely way to con- 
vince them. 

Billot then went on much further with his cautious corre- 
spondent, who, though he did not reveal much, was forced to 
confess that his friend had penetrated into his secret, and that 
he knew a great deal. ^" The time," said M. Billot, " is come 
when I ought to have no further concealment from you. I 
repeat that I have seen and known all that it is permitted to man 
to sefe and know. I have been witness of an ecstasy, not such as 
Dr. Bertrand imagines, but I have seen magnetic clairvoyants 
with stigmata. I have seen obsessions and possessions, which 
have been dissipated by a single word : I have seen many other 
things, which others have seen also, but which the spirit of this 
age has not permitted them to reveal. I am an esfrit fort ; and 
that which the priests have not been able to do now for many 
years, magnetism has accomplished. The truths of reliffion 
have been demonstrated by it*^ 

He then proceeds to relate some of these revelations, which 
very much resemble the teachings of the ancient philosophers, 
mingled with those of Christianity, — doctrines which prepared 
the way for the inculcations of Spiritualism. Superior intelli- 
gences, he says, presented themselves ; presided at seances^ and 
manifested themselves by the delicious odors which they diffused 
around them. The ambrosia of the mythologists, the odor of 
sanctity of the Church were discovered to be realities. Evil 
and unclean spirits also presented themselves ; but the clairvoy- 
ants immediately recognized them (July 23, 1831). These and 
other statements, M. Billot says, which he extracted from the 
journals of the siances, could never hfive seen the light of day, 
had he not deemed it for the interest of the great science to 
confide them to the bosom of prudent and discreet friendship ; 
and, on the 9th of September, he announces that he is about to 
proceed to more substantial proofs of the apparition of spirits, — 
such as, he says, it will be impossible to deny or to diminish : 
for theie spirits were tangible ; you both saw and touched them. 
Perhaps, he adds, M. Deleuze may think these things a little 


too marvellous for belief ; but his doubt will no longer be par- 
donable when he may touch them himself, and touch them 
again. What he says on September 30, must convince the most 
skeptical: there is neither illusion nor vision. He and his co-. 
secretaries have seen and felt, and he calls God to witness the 
truth of it. 

On the 6th of November, 1831, Deleuze writes, that he is 
greatly grieved that the state of his health and his great age will 
not permit him to make a journey to see M. Billot, as he most 
anxiously desires ; that the immortality of the soul is proved to 
Aim, and the possibility of communicating- with spirits ; but that, 
personally, he has not seen facts equal to those cited by Billot. 
Nevertheless, persons worthy of all confidence have made the 
like reports to him. "I have this morning," he continues, 
" seen a very distinguished physician, who has related to me 
some of your facts, without naming you, and who gave me many 
others of a like character. Amongst others, his clairvoyants 
caused material objects to present themselves, I know not what to 
think of all this, though I am as certain of the sincerity of my 
medical friend, as I am of yours. I cannot conceive how spiritual 
beings are able to carry material objects." 

M. Billot, on the 25th of June, 1832, wrote that in the doctrine 
of Spiritualism the question is not of opinions but of facts : these 
are the things which lead to the truth; but neither the mag- 
netizers nor the magnetized can reproduce these at will. 

On another occasion, M. Deleuze remarks that " the clairvoy- 
ant seizes rapports innumerable. He catches them with an 
extreme rapidity : he. runs, in a minute, through a series of ideas 
which, under ordinary circumstances, would demand many hours. 
Time seems to disappear before him. He is himself astonished 
at the variety and rapidity of these reflections. He is led to at- 
tribute them to the inspiration of another intelligence. Anon, 
he perceixes in himself this new being. He considers himself in 
the clairvoyant sleep a different person from himself awake. 
He speaks of himself in the third person, as some one whom he 
has known, on whom be comments, whom he advises, and in 


whom he takes more or less interest, as if himself in somnam- 
bulism and himself awake were two diflferent persons." 

M. Deleuze finishes by urging M. Billot to publish his experi- 
ences, but with his habitual caution counsels him to suppress the 
most astounding facts. Billot heroically determines to victimize 
himself for the truth, to brave the sarcasms of the learned; 
" For," he observes, " to talk of spirits in France, where the 
majority of the magnetists hold fast by their accepted theory, of 
merely material agencies, is to become an object of contemptuous 

He was also aware of another difficulty, — the uncertainty. of 
securing successful stances; which, whilst the causes affecting 
them are but partially understood, so often fail in the presence 
of the determinedly skeptical. 

Such was the correspondence of the two celebrated magnetists, 
at a time when Spiritualism in its present phase was yet unheard 
of. The great facts of spiritual life thus bursting upon them in 
pursuance of their scientific experiments in magnetism, and in 
opposition to all their prejudices, as well as most contrary to 
their expectations, must be regarded as one of the most curious 
and most interesting events in the annals of Spiritualism. Be- 
sides the transport of material objects by invisible .agents, the 
spirits which appeared to them were solid to the touch, as they 
have so often made themselves since. Living persons were ele- 
vated in the air in their sdauces. Dr. Schmidt, of Vienna, and Dr. 
Charpignon, of Orleans, also give some striking cases of deli- 
cious odors, or cadaverous effluvia issuing from pure or impure 
spirits which presented themselves : the m9St startling commu- 
nications of facts otherwise unknown were made ; and they had 
cases of obsession and possession as well as of successful exoi;- 

After all the confessions of M. Deleuze, he afterwards was 
greatly tempted, like Sir David Brewster, to recover favor with 
his scientific and incredulous contemporaries. Becoming one of 
the chiefs of magnetic initiation, he endeavored to weaken or to 
neutralize the force of his avowals. A gentleman well instructed 



in these mysteries, wrote to him thus : "You have endeavored to 
fortify your readers, in your journal, against the system of th«» 
magnetists of the North, who admit superhuman powers a^ 
intermediates in certain magnetic phenomena. I would tak^ 
the liberty of observing to you that this is not at all a system 
with them ; but the simple enunciation of a fact, that a great, 
number of their somnambulists, raised to a high degree of lucid- 
ity, have asserted that they were illuminated and conducted by a 
spiritual guide." 

The answer of Deleuze is worthy of attention : " The facts 
which seem to prove the communications of souls separated from 
niatter with those who are still united to it, are innumerable, as 
I know. These are existent in all religions, are believed by all 
nations, are recorded in all histories, may be collected in society; 
and the phenomena of magnetism present a great number of 
them. Yes : a great number of somnambulists have affirmed 
that they have conversed with spiritual intelligences ; they have 
been inspired and guided by them : and I will tell you why 1 
have thought it best not to insist on such facts and proofs of 
spirit communication. It is because I have feared that it might 
excite the imagination, might trouble human reason, and lead to 
dangerous consequences." 

Deleuze did not, when thus challenged, walk backwards out of 
his previous avowals, like some on the other side of the water : 
he was only timid and cautious, not untruthful. The frank 
bravery of M. Billot, in regard to a truth which he knew would 
be unpopular, is deserving of the highest praise. 

The author of these valuable papers has given a number of 
other instances amongst the magnetists who have arrived at the 
same conclusions as MM. Billot and Deleuze, in the same man- 
ner. They have found themselves in contact with unmistakable 
spirits, when they have been expecting merely the operations of 
magnetic laws. Amongst these were M. Bertrand, 'physician, 
and member of the Royal Society of Sciences. Baron Dupotet 
declared that he had rediscovered in magnetism the spiritology 
of the ancients, and that he himself believed in the world of 


" Let the savant" he says, " reject the doctrine of spiritual 
appearances as one of the grand errors of the past ages ; but the 
profound inquirer of to-day is compelled to believe this by a seri- 
ous examination of facts." 

Dupotet asserts the truth of all the powers assumed by anti- 
quity and by the church, by all religions, indeed, such as work- 
ing miracles and healing the sick. "When," he says, " lightning, 
or other powerful agents of nature, produce formidable effects, 
nobody is astonished ; but let an unknown element startle us, let 
this element appear to obey thought, then reason rejects it; and, 
nevertheless, it is a truth ; for we have seen and felt the effects of 
this terrible power." Terrible, however, only when nature is not 
understood as Spiritualism has revealed it. " If," adds Dupotet, 
"the knowledge of ancient magic is lost, the facts remain on 
which to reconstruct it." He exclaims, " No more doubt, no 
more uncertainty: magic is rediscovered." 

He then giyes a number of phenomena produced of a most 
extraordinary kind, and laughs at those brave champions of sci- 
ence who, far from danger, talk with a loud and firm tone, reason 
on just what they themselves know, and pay no regard to the 
practical knowledge of others ; who, in fact, hug their doubts, as 
we, with more reason, hug our faith. 

These avowals were made in 1840, long before the American 
phenomena or those of Vienna were heard of. But as Spirit- 
ualism began to show itself as a distinct faith, the majority of 
magnetists took the alarm. Those who, like Messieurs Bertrand, 
D'Hunin, Puys^gur, and Seguin, had stood on the very threshold 
of Spiritualism, began to step back a step or two, and to shroud 
themselves in mystery, and to shake their heads at the prospect 
of awful consequences in pushing further on such a path. 

"The magnetic forces cannot be explained," said Puys^gfur. 
" We have no organs," saidM. Morin, " for discovering spiritual 
beings." "The real causes of apparitions, of objects displaced, 
of suspensions, and of a great portion of the marvellous," said 
D'Hunin and Bertrand, " are inscrutable." 

Seguin, who thought that magnetism would revolutionize the 


whole of science, starts, and stands still: he finds himself on 
the brink of a precipice. Inaccessible to danger, however, M. 
Seguin would wish to pursue his researches ; but wisdom com- 
mands him to stop on the edge of an abyss, which no man, he 
affirms; can ever pass with impunity. 

What is the precipice which M. Seguin and his fellow-magne- 
tists see at their feet? Simply, the precipice of Spiritualism. 
The spiritual world opens before them when they desire only to 
deal with this. In the words of Baron Dupotet, " There is an 
agent in space, whence we ourselves, our inspiration, and our 
intelligence proceed ; and that agent is the spiritual world which 
surrounds us." A step further, and the magnetists were aware 
that they must cut the cable which held them to the rest of the 
scientific world, and float away into the ocean of spiritual 
causation. They must consent to forfeit the name of philoso- 
phers, and to suffer that of fanatics in the mouths of the ma- 
terial savans. 

We find in a late number of the "London Spiritual Magazine," 
a paper, by Mr. R. H. Brown, on the relations of clairvoyance to 
the facts of Spiritualism. We do but condense his admirably 
clear and logical statement in the reniarks on the subject, which 
follow to page 195 : — 

** It is all clairvoyance ! " Such is the objection made by many 
who have slightly investigated the spiritual phenomena. Thus 
it is that Spiritualism has come to the aid of clairvoyance. 
Before the advent of Spiritualism, clairvoyance was denounced 
as the great "humbug" of the day. Nearly all the scientific 
men of the land shook their heads, and lamented the credulous, 
wonder-loving ignorance of poor human nature. Now, as the 
world moves, and as the phenomena of Spiritualism come up, 
these same wise gentlemen would use what they denounced as 
the "humbug" of yesterday as the truth of to-day; that is, to 
help them to explain these more advanced facts! 

"It is all clairvoyance!" But what is clairvoyance? Its 
phenomena may be briefly described as follows : Persons thrown 
into the somnambulic trance by animal magnetism, through the 



agency of an operator, or falling into the same state involunta- 
rily, have been known to see without the aid of the physical or 
external organs of vision, and without the assistance of light. 
Books are read as well in the darkness of night as in the full 
glare of noonday. Objects and scenes, at great distances, far 
beyond the reach of the external organs of vision, are seen and 
described. The clear sight of the clairvoyant mind not only 
penetrates through the most opaque and dense substances, but 
also sees the thoughts that bud and blossom in the inmost re- 
cesses of the soul. The past is illuminated, and its most hidden 
passages revealed ; and the future, hidden by an impenetrable 
veil from the normal eye, prophetically presents its yet unrolled 
panorama, and stamps upon the clairvoyant mind the impress 
of its coming form. This is clairvoyance. Now let me ask the 
candid investigator what it is that sees without the physical eyes% 
and without the assistance of light / 

It is evident that neither the optic nerves nor the crystalline 
lens are employed by those who read a book, amid the darkness 
of midnight, unaided by a single ray of light. The answer to 
this question is all-important; for therein, hidden, lies the golden 
key which will unlock all the mysteries of Spiritualism. What 
is normal sight? What is it that sees when the natural or 
external eye, together with light, are the mediums of perception ? 
It is evident that the mere fluid called light cannot see, neither 
can the lens or humors of the eye, nor the optic nerve, nor a 
combination of these ; for light and visual organs are only the 
media by which perception is conveyed to that mysterious 
something which lies hidden within. 

In ordinary or normal sight, three things are employed : the 
object, the eye, and the light which serves as the connecting link 
or medium of contact between the eye and the object. The eye, 
like a beautiful and delicate camera obscura, paints with fidelity 
the picture of the exterior world upon the retina. // is the 
immortal soul which stands behind the curtain, and gazes on the 
shifting panorama. 

Let the ftoul be absent, and eight ceases, though the organ be 


perfect : it becomes but a common camera obscura, — the mere 
arrangement of parts for the production of a picture. The 
picture is perfect, but there is no spectator. When a person falls 
into a state of profound abstraction, the eyes, though open, often 
cease to convey any idea of sight to the soul. This is because 
« the attention of the spectator behind the curtain is turned in 
another direction : he does not regard the panorama which 
moves along the darkened curtains of the eye. The materialists 
reply to this, that sight is not the result of the attentive percep- 
tion of the soul to the pictorial sensations of the optic nerve. 
They tell us that the soul has no separate and distinct existence 
apart from the body. Light, they claim, is but sensation ; and 
sensation is the result of organization. When the organization 
ceases, sensation will cease; and when sensation ceases, the 
whole being ceases to be; for organization and sensation, say 
they, compose the whole of man : there is no soul. 

This method of argument is plausible. But the moment that 
— "Slight is proved to exist 'without the use of either lights sensation, 
or aiiy of the physical and material organs of vision, the whole 
pyramid of their logic falls to the ground. 

Thus it is that clairvoyance furnishes the most conclusive 
answer to the materialists, and presents the most satisfactory 
proof of the existence of the soul, separate from the body, re- 
siding within it, generally employing its organs for the reception 
of ideas, but at times acting independently of them, and obtaining 
information without their aid. By clairvoyance, we have thus 
shown the truth of the first proposition upon which Spiritualism 
rests, — the existence of a dual nature in mail, a soul as well as a 

The second proposition, which lies at the basis of the new 
philosophy, is the existence of a spiritual body, interfusing and 
permeating the physical, material, or natural body. 

If, in an obscure field, you should pick up the fragments of 
the bones of an arm, the inference that there had once been a 
full and complete organization, of which the fragments before 
you were a part, would be logical and correct. The naturalist 



is enabled, from the fragment of the skeleton of an extinct «ntc- 
diluvial animal, to reconstruct the whole, and draw the portrait 
of a creature which existed before the flood. 

Let us apply this method to the subject under consideration. 

The clairvoyant mind sees without the aid of light, or the 
assistance of the external or physical eye. 

The soul does not leave the body to place itself in direct 
contact with the object seen; therefore the mind must have 
some medium of sight. This medium of perception is neither 
light nor the optic nerve. What, then, is it? It is not the odic* 
force simply; for there must be some mevnis whereby the character 
of the impression conveyed by the odic force is determined and 
individualized^ — some agency whereby the impression of sight 
is made distinguisnable from that of hearing, or the impression 
made by an abstract idea. It is the peculiar function of an organ 
to individualize and characterize the nature of an impression 

A simple object — for instance, a tree — makes upon the 
physical body a multitude of impressions; and it is the various 
organs of the body which individualize these impressions. The 
impression which the size, form, and color of the tree makes is 
individualized and characterized by the organs of sight. The 
impressions which its hardness and impenetrability make are 
individualized and characterized by the sense of touch. If it 
were not for this, the mind would receive a mass of confused 
impressions, without possessing any means to analyze, arrange, 
or distinguish them. As a prism separates and individualizes 
the various colors which compose a ray of sunlight, so the senses 
separate and individualize the combined impressions which an 
object makes upon the physical organism, and present them in 
an orderly and defined spectrum to the mind. 

* This word odic is derived from the Greek 6d6f , a way or passage. Reichenbach 
gave the name od to what he conceived to be the force producing the phenomena of 
mesmerism, and developed by various agencies, as by magnets, heat, light, chemical <w 
vital action. The terms odyle^ or the odyllic or odic force, were thought preferable by 
his English disciples. 

nature's guarantee. 191 

If the reader has followed with close attention our train of 
reflection, he will be prepared for the conclusion at which we 
have arrived, to wit : If the mind sees without the aid of light or 
the assistance of the optic nerve, it must have some other medium 
by which the simple impression of sight can be individualized, 
and presented separate and distinct from all other impressions ; 
or, in other words, there must be a spiritual organ of sighl, 
distinct and separate from the physical organ of sight. 

The remainder of our task is now simple and easy; for if 
there is a spiritual organ of sight, there must also be a spiritual 
organ for the individualization of all the other impressions. In 
nature, each part is adapted to all the other parts, and the exist- 
ence of one part presupposes the existence of all the other parts. 
If there is a spiritual organ of sight, there must also be a 
complete spiritual organization or body, interfused with and 
penneating the physical body. 

Nature, our wise and powerful mother, fore-adapts every 
thing for the conditions amid which she intends it shall live. 
How shall we escape the conclusion, that by adapting the soul 
to another state of being, and endowing it for that purpose with 
the power to exist, act, think, see, and hear, without the aid of 
the body, and separated from it. Nature has given us her Solemn 
and sacred guarantee that lue shall live hereafter ? To arrive at 
any other conclusion, is to charge Nature with the weakness of 
creating that which is useless, and God of the folly of adapting 
man to a sphere of existence which he does not intend him to 

All the arguments which have ever been made against the 
immortality of the soul are based upon the idea, that the soul 
has no identity of being separate from the body. From which 
premise the conclusion is correctly drawn, that the soul and body, 
being one in substance, must perish together. But clairvoyance 
demonstrates to us that this premise is /alse, and teaches us that 
the soul and the body are not one in substance; but, on the 
contrary, that the former can think, act, see, and hear without 
the aid of the latter, and independent of all its organs. It is 



thus that clairvoyance, with a mighty hand, crushes to powder 
the labored logic of the materialists, and places the belief in our 
immortal nature upon a firm and scientific basis. 

But again, clairvoyance, by demonstrating the truthful char- 
acter of the teachings of intuition^ has afforded conclusive proof' 
of a higher sphere of existence. God has given man two methods 
of attaining a knowledge of truth, — intuition and reason. The 
one is intended to prove the correctness of the other, thus 
affording man the highest evidence of truth, by giving him the 
power to arrive at the same results by two distinct and totally 
diverse mental operations. What intuition and reason both 
afiirm to be true, no man need doubt. 

It is true that neither is infallible ; and he who expects to find 
any human faculty infallible in its nature, only betrays his own 
ignorance of the laws of mind and matter. Nevertheless, intui- 
tion is a faculty of the soul, just as reliable as that of reason, and 
the teachings of the one may be reposed upon with as much con- 
fidence as those of the other. Clairvoyance has demonstrated 
beyond all^avil^he truthful character of intuition. 

What does intuition say in regard to the immortal nature of 
the soul? 

There is not a clairvoyant in the world, no matter what may 
be his normal belief, who does not affirm the existence of the 
soul after death has destroyed the clay-built palace wherein it 
dwells during its brief residence upon earth. 

Many philosophers have puzzled themselves about the theory 
of '•^innate ideas." And the belief in our immortality has been 
classed as an " innate idea." But the philosophers may learn a 
lesson from clairvoyance. It is no " innate idea," but only the 
divine voice of intuition, which, deep within each man's soul, 
proclaims a life to come. 

We must look to intuition for the true cause of that faith in a 
future beyond the grave, which has prevailed in all nations and 
all ages. 

Clairvoyance, then, in demonstrating the truthfulness of in- 
tuition, has also demonstrated the immortality of the soul. 


We have now arrived at the last of the propositions which is 
to * be considered : the proof which clairvoyance affords of the 
powet^ of spirits who have left the earth-form to communicate 
with those who remain behind. 
As a matter of course, this portion of the argument, as well 
» as the former, is addressed only to such as believe in the phe- 
nomena of clairvoyance. To those who are yet so far behind the 
great age in which they live as to doubt or sneer at magnetism 
and psychological science, all that has been said or will be said 
by the writer can be of no use. Such persons have yet to learn 
the a be oi that great science which lies at the basis of all others, 
and is the most important of them all. 

In order to make it plain that clairvoyance does afford scien- 
tific and conclusive proof of the power of spirits to communicate 
with us, it will be necessary to refer to some of the familiar and 
ordinary phenomena of animal magnetism- Those phenomena 
may be divided into three classes : — 

I. Profound abstraction, magnetic sleep, and insensibility to 
all external influences. 2. Sympathetic clairvoyance. 3. Inde- 
pendent clairvoyance. 

Attention is more particularly requested to the second class ; 
namely, sympathetic clairvoyance. The subject, while in this 
t state, is almost entirely under the control of the operator. No 
\ \ vocalization of the will of the politive operator is required to 
I I induce obedience in the negative subject. The simple concen- 
\ ' tration of the unspoken will is all that is required to direct and 
^ /control the subject. So great is the sympathy induced between 
jthe two, that the will of the one acts freely upon the muscular 
^ ; system of the other, and compels him to rise up, sit down, walk, 
i\ ; stand, or talk, according to the volition of the operator. The 
nervous systems of the two are united by a constant interchange 
of the odic fluids. The result of this intimate union and sympa- 
thy between the operator and the subject is, that the thoughts 
of the one are known to the other. An idea evolved in the mind 
of the operator, though unspoken^ immediately becomes present 
in the mind of the subject. But you will remember that the will 




of the operator also has control of the muscular system of the 
«ubject. Hence, no sooner is the idea of the operator present in 
the mind of the subject, should the operator will that idea^^to be 
spoken by the subject, than the subject is compelled to speak it. 
In other words, the operator, for the expression of b*< own silent 
thoughts, can use the vocal organs of the subject. 

Example. — A, in the presence of C, magnetizes B, and 
throws him into the sympathetic clairvoyant state. This being 
done, A silently thinks in his own mind these words : '* Good- 
evening, friend C." Now^ by virtue of the sympathy established 
between the operator A and the subject B, those words are im- 
mediately impressed upon the mind of B, and become present 
there. A now silently wills B to speak those words, which B is 
compelled to do ; and so he turns to C, and says, ** Good-evening, 
friend C." Thus you perceive A, instead of using his own organs 
of speech, has employed those of B. In other words, A has been 
speaking to C through a medium. This is an experiment which 
we have repeatedly performed with success. 

It will be observed that the body or physical organism of the 
operator was not employed in the above experiment. The operator 
used two things only : first, his will ; second, an odic force, which 
was controlled and directed by his will, and made the agent for 
the transmission of his thoughts and commands to the subject. 

It is evident, therefore, that though the operator be deprived 
of his body^ he will not lose the power to control and speak 
through B, provided he yet retain the power of volition and the 
command of the odic force. 

It needs no argument to show that the escape of the soul from 
the body will not deprive the soul of the power of volition. The 
will is an essential attribute of the soul. Without volition, a soul 
would not be a soul ; and nothing short of a total annihilation 
of the soul can destroy its volition. The whole is equal to the 
sum of its parts. If the whole is immortal, all the parts must 
be immortal. Hence, we see that the immortality of the will is 
just as certain as the immortality of the soul. 

But will the disembodied volition still retain command of the 



odic force ? There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual 
body. This spiritual body is very rare and refined in its nature, 
but is yet less refined than the soul enshrined within it. The 
soul, therefore, needs some agent by which it can put itself in 
connection with that spiritual body. The soul cannot come in 
direct contact with that body : it requires an agent which may 
transmit its commands to the various parts and members of the 

What Nature requires, Nature supplies; and such an agent 
exists. The agent which serves to put the soul in connection 
with its new spiritual organization is an etherealization of what 
we term the odic force or vital fluid. It has been termed spirit- 
ual magnetism, in contradistinction to animal magnetism. 
Hence, we have surviving the destruction of the human form the 
only two conditions needed to enable A to control and speak 
through B. 

This, then, is the true philosophy of the method by which 
spirits speak through media. It is sympathetic clairvoyance in 
both cases. In the one case, the operator is a spirit in the form ; 
in the otheV case, the operator is a spirit <7«/of the form. In both 
cases the subject is the same. In the former case, the spirit in 
the form uses his will, and the odic force evolved from his 
physical organism. In the latter case, the spirit out of the form 
uses his will, and the odic force flowing from his spiritual 
organism. The analogy between the two is perfect, and the 
means used are the same ; and this view being true, it antici- 
pates and answers all the objections to the spiritual hypothesis 
which we present in the chapter which follows. 

We have offered some positive physical reasons for our rejec- 
tion of the theories of the physiological materialists of our day. 
Let us give a little space to a metaphysical analysis of their 
arguments. ** Moleschott, Vogt, Buchner, Wiener, and others," 
says Professor Reubelt, ** maintain the following propositions: 
It is not the mind that thinks : thoughts are the secretions of the 
phosphoric brain. There is no liberty of the will, but a man is 
what he eats; there is no immortality, but a resurrection, of the 



body when it is used for the manuring of the fields ; there is no 
personal God, who would be as much as a gaseous, vertebrated 
animal ; but the universal law of causation is God. There is no 
a priori knowledge. There is no knowledge without sensual im- 
pressions, and no such impressions without a material object. 
The human mind is no spontaneous and productive, but only a 
receptive and digestive, organ." 

Of this coarse materialism. Professor Gustave Franck, of Vi- 
enna, lately said, in his inaugural address, ''Scientific criticism 
has first to take in hand the principle of materialism ; and that is, 
all is matter, or there is nothing but matter. But this leading 
idea is not met with in matter. Materialisni is thus based on an 
immaterial principle, which cannot be proved from matter, and 
which thus contradicts itself. If materialism could account for 
every thing else in the universe, it could not account for its own 
first principle, and thus rests on the belief of a dogma or a prej- 

*' If all is matter, thought is likewise a product of matter, an 
accidental conglomeration, as Vogt says, of atoms in the brain. 
Each sphere of thought is, therefore, an accidental phenomenon ; 
each lacks the character of logical necessity. If two men think 
the same thoughts, it must be owing to the accidental sameness 
of the substance of their brains. Universal and necessary truths, 
that is, truths which each and every one has, by necessity, to 
recognize, there cannot be. 

*' But if this is so, what right has the materialist to proclaim 
his idea of the world as the only true one, and what interest 
prompts him to attack opposite views ? If he is consistent, he 
cannot do any thing else than complain bitterly of fate or acci- 
dent, by which, in the brains of others, atoms conglomerate in a 
manner so vastly different from that in his own. 

"Now what is the position of materialism when tested by 
mathematics? Are its propositions and axioms universal and 
necessarily true, or are they accidental ? To admit the first part 
of this question involves a denial of the very first principle of 
materialism ; and to assume the second is absurd. 



** Philosophically neither proved, nor capable of being proved, 
and perfectly unable to account for the most common pheno- 
mena, modern materialism has sought its main support in 
natural science. The materialist reasons thus : — 

" * The most minute and thorough examination and observa- 
tion of nature has not yet been able to discover a. spirit,* and 
there is consequently no spirit.' 

" But with the same right a man may say, I have never seen 
music with my eyes ; and there is, therefore, no music. All that 
natural science can do is to confine itself to a relative negation, 
and to say, * Wit A the means at my command^ I cannot discover a 
spirit* As soon a$ it oversteps this limit, and makes its nega- 
tion absolute, it is pretentious: it has left its own legitimate 
sphere, and enters another of which it knows nothing, and of 
which it has, therefore, nothing to say. 

" Materialism is atomistic : it accounts for the universe and all 
the phenomena taking place therein, by assuming the existence 
of eternal infinitesimal bodies that are endued with force. But 
as these atoms cannot be perceived by the senses, materialism, 
to be consistent, has nothing, can have nothing, to do with them. 
Again the forces of cohesion and expansion, supposed to inhere 
in the atoms, cannot possibly produce any connection conform- 
able to design ; and the materialistic philosopher must, therefore, 
deny the existence of any thing of the kind in organisms. 

** As these atoms are entirely destitute of intelligence, the ori- 
gin of a self-conscious intelligence and the identity of this self- 
consciousness during the whole life, amid the constant changes 
of matter, cannot be accounted for on materialistic principles ; 
and the materialist has to doubt his own self-consciousness in 
order to be consistent. 

" But as thinking, so is volition, a purely physical mechanism ; 
and there is, therefore, no freedom of will, but every apparently 
free act is the necessary result of a chain of mechanically act- 

* As &r as the faculties of man are capable of discovering a spirit, by sight, touch, 
speech, and the joint efforts of the reason and the senses, modern Spiritualism claims 
that this has been done, although no chemical test may yet have been found. 


ing causes : there is no moral self-determination. Materialism 
has, consequently, no morality; but leads consistently to the 
doing away with all moral and human order. 

** Where there is no room for morality, there is of course none 
for religion. Thus materialism is everywhere a sad negation of 
every thing ideal ; yea, a mere negation itself, a heap of ruins." 

In dismissing the materialism of Moleschott, Biichner, Mauds- 
ley, and the rest, we are happy to quote Professor Tyndall, who, 
though he has shown, like some other men of high scientific cul- 
ture, a lack of courtesy, if not of courage, in dealing with the 
spiritual phenomena, discourses well in regard to the unphilo- 
sophical attitude of the German Sadducees. Speaking of the con- 
nection between physical and mental processes, he says, ** Were 
our minds and senses so ^panded, strengthened, and illumi- 
nated as to enable us to see and feel the very molecules of the 
brain ; were we capable of following all their motions, all their 
groupings, all their electric discharges, if such there be; and 
were we intimately acquainted with the corresponding states of 
thought and feeling, — we should be as far as ever from the 
solution of the problem, * How are these physical processes con- 
nected with the facts of consciousness?' The chasm between 
the two classes of phenomena would still remain intellectually 
impassable. Let the consciousness of love, for examplcj be 
associated with a right-handed spiral motion of the molecules of 
the brain ; and the consciousness of hate with a left-hand spiral 
motion. We should then know when we love that the motion is 
in one direction, and when we hate that the motion is in the 
other; but the *why?' would still remain unanswered. In 
affirming that the growth of the body is mechanical, and that 
thought, as exercised by us, has its correlative in the physics of 
the brain, I think the position of the materialist is stated as far 
as that position is a tenable one. I think the materialist will be 
able finally to maintain this position against all attacks ; but I 
do not think, as the human mind is at present constituted, that 
he can pass beyond it. . . . 

The problem of the connection of body and soul is as insol- 



uble in its modern form as it was in the pre- scientific ages. 
Phosphorus is known to enter into the composition of the human 
brain ; and a courageous writer has exclaimed, in his trenchant 
Gen#an, * OJine Phosphor heine Gedanke.^ * That may or may 
not be the case ; but even if we knew it to be the case, the knowl- 
edge would not lighten our darkness. On both sides of the zone, 
here assigned to the materialist, he is equally helpless. If you 
ask him whence is this * matter ' of which we have been dis- 
coursing, who or what divided it into molecules, who or what 
impressed upon them this necessity of running into organic 
forms, he has no answer. . . . Science, also, is mute in reply to 
these questions." 

Long before these remarks were made, in some comments 
upon the physiological writings of Mr. Bain, Mr. James Marti- 
neau expressed similar ideas, as follows : " If modern cerebral 
researches were ever so successful ; if we could turn the exterior 
of a man's body into a transparent case, and compel powerful 
magnifiers to lay bare to us all that happens in his nerves and • 
brain, — what we should see would not be sensation, thought, 
affection, but some form of movement or other visible change, 
which would equally show itself to any being with observing 
eyesight, however incapable of the corresponding inner emotion. 
Facts thus legible from a position foreign to the human con- 
sciousness are not mental facts, are not moral facts, and have 
no place in the interior of a science which professes to treat of 
these, and reduce them to their laws." 

"Whatever force," says Mr. Shorter, "there may be in the 
argument from metaphysics for the soul's immortality is unaf- 
fected by Spiritualism, save in the way of confirmation to its ' 
conclusion. Spiritualism converts what before was but proba- 
bility into certitude; it su pplies the missin;^ link i it makes good I 
that embarrassing del^CC 111 the evidence which has perplexed so \ 
many, leading them to question or reject the belief in immortality , 

* No thought without phosphorus; an assertion which the &cts of somnambu- 
lism and Spiritualism would seem to render rather questionable, to say the least 



as not adequately sustained. Let, then, the metaphysician mar- 
shal all his forces, and do what service he may in tife cause of 
this great truth : I would only say, in the language of an elder 
Spiritualist, * Yet show T ynu a more excellent way.' " • 

To many minds, familiar with the facts of Spiritualism, all argu- 
ments in proof of the soul's immortality will seem as superfluous 
as it^ould be to argue to a photographer that pictures can be 
made by the aid of light. To them the question is no longer an 
open one; for to them the fact of spiritual existence has been 
proved, as far as it can be to our limited human faculties. 
Enough has been given to satisfy them that to give more might 
be to cross some of the purposes of this disciplinary mundane 
existence. And so they wait serenely for the dawn of the great 

*• Soon the whole, 

Like a parched scroll, 
Shall before our amazM sight unroll ; 

And, without a screen. 

At one burst be seen 
The presence wherein we have ever been.** 




' Oh, hearts that never cease to yearn I 

Oh, brimming tears that ne'er are dried 1 
The dead, though they depart, return. 
As if they had not diedj 

The livbg are the only dead ; 

The dead live — never more to die ; 
And often when we mourn them fled. 

They never were so nigh 1 " 

'ELL authenticated accounts of apparitions of the departed 

~ ^ may be found in Mr. Owen's " Footfalls on the Boundary 
of Another World," and in Mr. Howitt's comprehensive " His- 
tory of the Supernatural." 

"The department of apparitions alone," says Mr. Howitt, "is 
a most voluminous one, and that on evidence that has resisted 
all efforts to dislodge it. Amongst those of recent times is that 
which warned Lord Lyttleton, in a dreartl, of the day and hour 
of his death; the truth of which has been assailed in vain. 
Equally well attested is that which appeared to Dr. Scott in 
Broad Street, London, and sent him to discover the title-deeds 
of a gentleman in Somersetshire, who would otherwise have 
lost his estate in a lawsuit with two cousins. That which drove 
Lady Penniman and her family out of a house in Lisle at the 
commencement of the French Revolution, is well known and 
authenticated. That which announced to Sir Charles Lee's 
daughter at Waltham in Essex, three miles from Chelmsford, 
her death that day at twelve o'clock, and which took place then, 
is related by a bishop of Gloucester. That of Dorothy Dingle, 



related by the Rev. Mr. Ruddle, a clergyman of Launceston in 
Cornwall, occurring in 1665, is well known. Still more cele- 
brated is that of Lord Tyrone to Lady Beresford, to warn her 
against a most miserable marriage, and to predict the marriage 
of his (Lord Tyrone's) daughter with Lady Beresford's son, and 
her own death at the age of forty-seven. In proof of the reality 
of this ghostly visit, the spirit took hold of her ladyship's wrist, 
which became marked indelibly, so that she always wore a black 
ribbon over it. The apparition to Dr. Donne of his living wife, 
when he was in Paris, representing the death of his child, is 
related by Dr. Donne himself; that of the father of the Duke 
of Buckingham, warning his son of his approaching fate, is 
well attested. Baxter relafes several cases as communicated to 
him at first hand. But of all cases, ancient and modern, none 
are better authenticated than that of Captain WheatcrOffc, who 
fell at the storming of Lucknow in 1857." 

In this last case, the apparition presented itself to two differ- 
ent ladies, one of them the wife of Captain Wheatcroft. Nor 
could it be said that the recital of one lady caused the apparition 
of the same figure to the other. Mrs. Wheatcroft was at the 

time at Cambridge, and Mrs. N in London ; and it was not 

till weeks after the occurrence that either knew what the other 
had seen. Those who would explain the whole on the principle 
of chance coincidence, have a treble event to take into account : 

the apparition to Mrs. N , that to Mrs. Wheatcroft, and the 

actual time of Captain Wheatcroft's death, each tallying exactly 
with the other. 

I Examples of apparitions at the moment of death might be 
I multiplied without number. In the case of the Wynyard 
1 apparition, which took place Oct. 15, 1785, at Sydney, in the 
island of Cape Breton, off Nova Scotia, Sir John Sherbrooke 
and General George Wynyard, then young men, both witnessed 
j it at the same moment. " I have heard," said Sherbrooke, ** of 
! a man being pale as death ; but I never saw a living face as- 
sume the appearance of a corpse, except Wynyard's at that 
moment." Both remained silently gazing on the figure as it 



passed slowly through the room, and entered the bed-chamber, 
casting on young Wynyard a look of melancholy affection. 
The oppression of its presence was no sooner removed, than 
Wynyard, grasping his friend's arm, exclaimed, ** Great God 1 • 
my brother I " 

They instantly proceeded to the bedroom, searched, but found 
it untenanted. The case was made known to their brother- 
officers. With the utmost anxiety they waited for letters from 
England. At length came a letter to Sherbrooke, begging him 
to break to Wynyard the news of the death of his favorite 
brother, who had expired on the. 15th of October, and at the 
same hour at which the friends saw the apparition. 

Recently, while in England, Mr. Owen took pains to authen- 
ticate this narrative. " It will not, I think, be questioned," he 
writes, " that this evidence is as direct and satisfactory as can 
well be, short of a record left in writing by one or other of the 
seers, — which it does not appear is to be found. A brother- 
officer, the first who entered the room after the apparition had 
been seen, testifies in writing to the main facts. Sir John Sher- 
brooke himself, when forty years had passed by, repeats to a 
brother-officer his unaltered conviction that it was the spirit of 
his friend's brother that appeared to them in the barracks at 
Sydney, and that that friend was as fully convinced of the fact 
as himself." 

Colonel Swift, late keeper of the crown jewels in the Tower, 
London, communicates to "Notes and Queries'* of Sept. 8, 
i860, an account of a singular apparition witnessed by himself 
and family in October, 1817, in his room in that ancient fortress, 
famous for so many royal murders and executions; and adds, 
that, soon afterwards, a sentinel on duty before the door of the 
iewel-office was so frightened by an apparition, that he died. 

The Cambridge Association for Spiritual Inquiry, familiarly 
called the Ghost Club, have stated that their carefully conducted 
researches on -the subject of apparitions have led them to re- 
gard such appearances as a settled fact. A member of this 
association informed Mr. Owen that he had collected two thou- 
sand cases of apparitions. 


Dr. Garth Wilkinson, in his "Life of Swedenborg," says 
truly, "The lowest experience of all time is rife in spiritual 
intercourse already; man believes it in his fears and hopes, 
* even when his education is against it; almost every family has 
its legends; and nothing but the wanting courage to divulge 
them keeps back this supernaturalism from forming a library 
of itself." This was also the candid confession of Kant. 

In " Recollections, Political, &c., of the Last Half Century," 
by the Rev. J. Richardson (London, 1856), there is a circum- 
stantial account of the appearance of Mr. John Palmer (an actor, 
who died suddenly on the stage at Liverpool on the 2d of August, 
1798), on the night of his death, to a person in London, named 
Tucker. "The fact of his absence from London was known to 
Tucker, but he was not aware about his arrangement for his 
return. On the night just mentioned, Tucker had retired at an 
earlier hour than usual ; but the company in the drawing-room 
was numerous, and the sound of their merriment prevented him 
from falling asleep. He was in a state of morbid drowsiness 
produced by weariness, but continually interrupted by noise. 
As he described the scene, he was sitting half upright in his 
bed, when he saw the figure of a man coming from the passage 
which led from the door of the house to the hall. The figure 
paused in its transit for a moment at the foot of the couch, and 
looked him full in the face. There was nothing spectral, or like 
the inhabitant of the world of spirits, in the countenance or 
outline of the figure, which passed on, and apparently went 
up the staircase. Tucker felt no alarm, whatever: he recog- 
nized in the figure the features, gait, dress, and general appear- 
ance of John Palmer, who, he supposed, had returned from 
Liverpool, and, having the entrie of the house, had, as usual, 
availed himself of his latch-key. . . . Next morning, in the 
course of some casual conversation, he informed Mrs. Vernon 
thftt he had seen Mr. Palmer pass through the hall, and ex- 
prt ttsed a hope that his trip to Liverpool had agreed with his 
h(»l^Uh. The lady stared at him incredulously; said he must 
h«v^ been dreaming or drinking or out of his senses, as no Mr. 



Palmer had joined the festivities in the drawing-room. His 
delusion, if delusion it were, was made a source of mirth to 
the people who called in the course of the day. He, however, 
persisted in his assertion of having seen Mr. Palmer ; and on the ' 
arrival of the post from Liverpool on the day after he had first 
made it, laughter was turned into mourning, and most of the 
guests were inclined to think there was more in it than they 
were willing to confess. 

"It should be added, that this * Tucker 'was a sort of hall- 
porter in Mrs. Vernon's house, and slept on a couch in the hall ; 
and * those who entered the house, and were about to go up 
stairs, had to pass by the aforesaid couch.' 

" It is very curious, also, that Palmer dropped down dead on the 
stage, while performing the part of the * Stranger* in Kotzebue's 
well-known play of that name, and immediately after uttering 
these memorable words, * There is another and a better world! * 
A benefit was got up in Liverpool for his children, which pro- 
duced £400." 

The positive statements of hauntings are so numerous, that, 
to deny them, or set them down as delusion, requires a skep- 
ticism akin to credulity. It turns out, on a thorough re- 
examination by Mr. Shorter of the celebrated " Cock-Lane 
ghost-story," for his belief in which Dr. Johnson has been so 
repeatedly ridiculed, that the phenomena of that case were in 
accordance with laws now familiar. The girl, a child of thir- 
teen, was simply a medium. To learn how the raps were made, 
she was tried in all sorts of ways, and with tied-up hands and 
feet, from the supposition that she made the noises herself ; but 
in vain. The noises went on, and that in different rooms, and 
even different houses. Floors and wainscots were pulled up; 
but no trick was discovered, though the search was made under 
the supervision of Di*. Johnson, Bishop Douglas, James Penn, 
and Stephen Aldrich. "That such a deception," says Howitt, 
"fihould be carried on by a family on which it only brought 
persecution, the pillory, and ruin, was too absurd for the 
belief of any except the so-called incredulous." 



Beaumont, in his "Gleanings of Antiquities," published in 
1724, mentions the rafping phenomena, and sayis, "There is a 
house in London, in which, for three years last past, have been 
heard, and still are heard, almost continual knockings against 
the wainscot overhead, and sometimes a noise like telling 
money, and of men sawing, to the great disturbance of the 
inhabitants; and often lights have been seen, like flashes of 
lightning; and the person who rents this house has told me 
that when she has removed eighteen miles from London, 
the knockings have followed her." 

Glanville says that there were knockings, and that a hand 
was seen at old Gast*s House in Little Burton in 1677. The 
knockings were on a bed's head, and the hand was seen holding 
a hammer, which made the strokes. Our times do not have the 
exclusive experience even of knockings. Bishop Heber says 
that the evidences of such things, which Glanville gives, are 
more easily ridiculed than disproved. 

The cases on record of direct spirit-'writing^ when no medium 
was near enough to co-operate in any known way, are very 
numerous.* A work by Baron L. De Guldenstubb^, a Swedish 
nobleman, resident in Paris, entitled "La R^alit^ des Esprits,'* 
and published a few years since, contains numerous facsimiles 
of writings made on paper by some invisible and intelligent 
force. The names of ten distinguished persons who witnessed 
the phenomenon are given. The Baron is a gentleman well 
known to personal friends of our own ; and his character gives 
all possible weight to his testimony. 

"The absurd fear of demons," he says, "has incapacitated 
our orthodox priests and theologians from combating the mate- 
rialists and the Sadducees with effectual experimental weapons. 
This demonophobia has unfortunately grown to be a veritable 
dcmonolatry. The priests having fear of demons, and, conse- 
quently, not wishing to occupy themselves with these spiritual 

* At the house of Mr. Daniel Farrar in Boston, some years since, we were present 
at some very curious experiments of this sort. The late Charles Colchester was the 



phenomena, have unwittingly formed a pact^with the devil, hy 
virtue of which the reign of incredulity and materialism, that 
reign of the demon par excellence, continues to subsist in all its 
dclaL . . . 

" The two fundamental ideas of Spiritualism — namely, that of 
the i pimortality b lit he soi^ l, and that of the r^alify of ^the j^nvjaj^^ 
W yprlH whirh reveals and manifests itself in different ways in 
our terrestrial world — are but the necessary corollary of the 
idea of God or the Absolute, and vice-versd. We may even 
assume that the idea of the immortality of the soul, and of its 
relations to the supernatural world, is more intimate and primi- 
tive than that of God, Creator and Supreme Author of the 
universe. . . . 

"The Bible does not formally teach the idea of the immor- 
tality of the soul, graven by the Eternal himself on the heart of 
man, but it supposes it everywhere. (Job xix. 26, 27; Num. 
xxiii. 10; Isa. xxvi. 19.) . . . The practice of necromancy, 
according to Samuel (i Sam. xxviii. 3-25), and according to 
Deuteronomy (xiii. and xviii.), necessarily presupposes the doc- 
trine of the immortality of the soul ; and so with the visions and 
apparitions, of which the Bible is full." 

Dr. Henry More gives a remarkable story touching the stirs 
made by a demon in the family of one Gilbert Campbel, by 
profession a weaver, in the old parish of Glenluce in Galloway, 
Scotland, in November, 1654. Among other phenomena in this 
case, we read that " presently there appeared a naked hand and 
arm from the elbow down, beating upon the floor till the house 
did shake again." 

Certain surprising occurrences, which took place in 1806 at 
Slawensick Castle, Silesia, are thoroughly well authenticated. 
Councillor Hahn, in the service of Prince Hohenlohe, had gone 
to Slawensick, and with an old friend, a military officer named 
Kern, had taken up his abode in the castle. ** Hahn, during his 
collegiate life, had been much given to philosophy; had listened 
to Fichte, and earnestly studied the writings of Kant. The 
result of his reflections, at this time, was a pure materialism." 



He had been reading aloud to his friends the works of Schiller, 
when the reading was interrupted by a small shower of lime 
which fell around them : this was followed by larger pieces ; but 
they searched in vain to discover any part of the walls or ceiling 
from which it could have fallen. The next evening, instead of 
the lime falling, as before, it was thrown, and several pieces 
struck Hahn ; at the same time they heard many blows, some- 
times below and sometimes over their heads, like the sound of 
distant guns. On the following evening, a noise was added, 
which resembled the faint and distant beating of a drum. On 
going to bed, with a light burning, they heard what seemed like 
a person walking about the room with slippers on, and a stick, 
with which he struck the floor as he moved step by step. The 
friends continued to laugh and jest at the oddness of these 
circumstances, till they fell asleep; neither being in the least 
inclined to attribute them to any supernatural cause. " But, on 
the following evening, the affair became more inexplicable : 
various articles in the room were thrown about, — knives, forks, 
brushes, caps, slippers, padlocks, funnel, snuffers, soap, — every 
thing, in short, that was movable; whilst lights darted from 
corner to corner, and every thing was in confusion. At the same 
time the lime fell, and the blows continued. Upon this, the two 
friends called up the servant, Knittel, the castle-watch, and 
whoever else was at hand, to be witnesses of these mysterious 
operations. Frequently, before their eyes, the knives and snuf- 
fers rose from the table and fell, after some minutes, to the 
ground." So constant and varied were the annoyances, that 
they resolved on removing to the rooms above. But this did 
not mend the matter: "the thumping continued as before; and 
not only so, but articles flew about the room which they were 
quite sure they had left below." Kern saw a figure in the mirror 
interposing, apparently, between the glass and himself ; the eyes 
of the figure moving, and looking into his. 

It is unnecessary to recount the means employed to trace out 
these mysteries. Hahn and Kern, assisted by two Bavarian 
olSoers, — Captain Cornet and Lieutenant Magerle, and all the 


aid thejr could assemble, — were wholly unsuccessful in obtain- 
ing the slightest clew. And Hahn, from whose narrative this 
account is taken, declares, "I have described these events 
exactly as I saw them ; from beginning to end, I observed them 
with the most entire self-possession. I had no fear, nor the 
slightest tendency to it ; yet the whole thing remains to me 
perfectly inexplicable." 

Those who have read Mrs. Poole's "Englishwoman in Egypt," 
will recollect her curious account of the hauntings and appari- 
tions in the house of her brother, Mr. Lane, at Cairo. The 
account is fully confirmed by Mr. Bayle St. John. He relates 
having seen a ghostly Sheik enter the house at noon, where he 
himself lived ; having had the doors immediately closed, and the 
visitor actively hunted up, but to no purpose. He relates also, 
that, in Alexandria, cases of throwing of stones from the roofs 
are of no unfrequent occurrence, where no one can discover the 

M. Joseph Bizouard, in a work published in Paris, under the 
title of "Des Rapports de V Homme avec le D^mon," relates 
some details, given by GSrres, of strange events at Miinchshofe, 
situated a league from Voitsberg, and three leagues from Gratz. 
They occurred in the house of a Herr Obergemeiner, and were 
observed and recorded by Dr. J. H. Aschauer, his father-in-law, 
a very learned physician and professor of mathematics at Gratz. 
They commenced in October, 1818, by the flinging of stones 
against the windows on the ground-floor, in the afternoon and 
evening. The noise generally ceased when they went to bed. 
As nobody could discover the cause, towards the end of the 
month, Obergemeiner, without saying any thing to his family, 
engaged about thirty-six of the peasants of the environs, and 
placed them in cordon all round the house well armed, and with 
orders to allow no one to go in or out of the house. He then 
took into the house with him Koppbauer and some others, 
assembled all his people to see that none were missing, and 
thoroughly examined every apartment, from the attics to the 
cellar. It wa» about half-past four o'clock in the afternoon. 
• '4 



The peasants formed their circle, and saw that no one was 
concealed within it, nor was able to pop in or out ; notwithstand- 
ing, the throwing of stones commenced against the windows of 
the kitchen. Koppbauer, placed at one of them, endeavored to 
ascertain their direction. Whilst Obergemeiner was in the 
kitchen with the others, a great stone was launched against the 
window where he stood, and broke many of the panes. . It was 
previously thought that the stones were thrown from the interior ; 
and it was in effect from that direction that thej now continued 
to come till half-past six in the evening, when the whole ceased. 
Every place in the house where a man could possibly conceal 
himself was visited ; and the guard without continued its posi- 

At eight o'clock in the morning, the stone-throwing re-com- 
menced before more than sixty persons ; and they were convinced 
that, issuing from beneath the benches of the kitchen, they 
struck the windows in a manner inexplicable. Pieces of lime- 
stone, weighing from a quarter of a pound to five pounds, were 
seen flying in all directions against the windows; and imme- 
diately afterwards all the utensils, spoons, pots, plates, full and 
empty, were launched from the midst of the spectators against 
the windows and the doors with a velocity inconceivable. Some 
broke th^ glass, some remained sticking in the broken panes ; 
and otherSj^only appearing to touch the glass, fell into the inte- 
rior. The spectators, when struck by the stones, felt only a slight 
blow. Whilst utensils were being carried from the kitchen, they 
were forced from the hands of those who bore them, or they 
w«re knocked over on the table on which they were placed. 
The crucifix alone was respected : the lights burning before it 
wen forcibly flung down. At the end of two hours, all the glass 
in the kitchen and all the fragile objects were broken, even 
those which they had carried away. A plate full of salad carried 
up to the first floor, in the act of being carried down again, by 
a servant, was snatched from her hands and flung into the ves- 
tibule. The disorder ceased at eleven o'clock. We omit many 
particulars which took place at this time. 



M. Aschauer, having heard this strange news from his son-in- 
law, desired to know when any thing further took place ; and, 
being sent for, as he entered he saw his daughter, with the man 
named Koppbauer, picking up the fragments of a pot, which had 
been thrown on the floor just as he entered. Then, all j.t once, 
a great ladle was launched from the shelf on which it lay, and, 
with incredible velocity, against the head of Koppbauer, who, 
instead of a severe contusion, only perceived a very light touch. 
M. Aschauer saw nothing further till the next day; when, issu- 
ing from the kitchen on account of the smoke, some stones were 
thrown against the windows. This physician examined the 
lightning-conductor, and every thing else, with an electrometer; 
but neither he nor Obergemeiner, who had offered a reward of a 
thousand francs to any one who could discover the cause, could 
detect any thing. On the second day, about four o'clock in the 
afternoon, Aschauer, troubled at these strange occurrences, was 
standing at the end of the kitchen, having opposite to him a 
shelf on which stood a large metal soup-tureen, when he saw the 
tureen suddenly dart towards him in a nearly horizontal position, 
and with surprising velocity, and pass so near his head that the 
wind of it raised his hair; and the tureen then fell to the earth 
with a great noise. 

Curiosity caused people to hasten from all parts, who were 
struck dumb with astonishment at these phenomena, and others 
of a similar nature. Towards five o'clock came a stranger, who 
pretended that a man must be concealed in the chimney. This 
ridiculous explanation excited the anger of M. Aschauer ; and he 
led him towards the door, whence nothing could be seen from 
the chimney, and, pointing to a copper dish upon a shelf, he 
said, ''What would you say, monsieur, if that dish should, 
without any one touching it, be thrown to the other side of the 
kitchen?'* Scarcely were the words uttered, when the dish, as 
if it had heard them, " flew across. The stranger stood con- 

We omit many particulars, because they are of the same kind. 
A pail of water, weighing fifteen pounds, which had been set on 



the floor, fell from the ceiling without any one being able to 
conceive how it got there ; for there was nothing to hang it upon. 
As thej were seated round the fire, a pot, which none of them 
could touch, was suddenly turned over, and emptied itself little 
by little, contrary to the law of such a fall. Then came egg- 
shells flying from every corner, nobody being there to throw 
them, and no one being able to imagine whence they came. 
After the departure of M. Aschauer, the wheels of a mill, about 
six minutes' walk from the house, stood still from time to time; 
the miller was thrown out of his bed, the bed turned over, the 
lights were extinguished, and various objects were thrown to 
the ground. 

After this, nothing more is said to have happened; at all 
events, M. Obergemeiner, who did not love to speak of these 
things, made no report of any. They made a great sensation, 
however, amongst the government officials ; and the district of 
Ober-Greiffenneck sent its report to the circle of Gratz. " Al- 
though it is said that we exist no longer in the times of 
ignorance, when phenomena which could not be comprehended 
were attributed to demons, &c., it is remarkable that, at an 
epoch in which civilization and the progress of the natural 
sciences have put them to flight, we yet see extraordinary things 
which the savans cannot explain." The report accords with the 
recital of M. Aschauer, and a mention is made in it of an inquiry 
by order of the magistrates, conducted by M. Gayer, with his 
electric apparatus ; and the report concludes by recommending* 
a further inquiry, ** as a natural solution can alone combat the 
hypocrisy of some and the superstition of others." 

We do not ask the reader to imagine the conclusion to which 
the government came on this matter, for he never could divine 
it. It was " that a man concealed in the tunnel of the chimney 
was probably the cause " 1 These professors of natural science 
were, however, charged to proceed, to a further inquiry ; but they 
considered it beneath their dignity, and refused. Afterwards an 
agent of the police visited the house; and G6rres says, that, 
amongst the various causes that he imagined, the most amusing 

brownson's reply to babinet. 


was that M. Aschauer had only astonished the people by a series 
of scientific tricks. Gorres, however, stating that his account is 
literally found in a letter of M. Aschauer to a friend, dated Jan. 
21, 1821, and in details communicated to himself, at a later 
period, assures us that M. Aschauer was not only a man of the 
profoundest science, but of the profoundest regard to truth, and 
one who feared no ridicule in stating it, however strange it 
might be. On this occasion, he asserted that no master of 
legerdemain was capable of producing the things which he saw. 
Neither was the force employed a mere scientific or physical 
force: it was a force free and reasoning; and these effects were 
the sport of a spirit or spirits, immaterial or invisible. 

M. Babinet, in an essay in the " Revue des Deux Mondes," 
reasons, like Faraday, that these, and similar phenomena at- 
tested by Spiritualists, are impossible, because they contradict 
the law of gravitation. Dr. Brownson urges in reply, that when 
he sees a fact of this kind, he does not pretend that it is in 
accordance with the law of gravitation, but the essence of the 
fact— that which constitutes its marvellousness — is precisely 
that it is not. " Now, to deny the fact for that reason," he says, 
** is to say that the law of gravitation cannot be overcome or 
suspended, and precisely to beg the question. How," he asks, 
" does M. Babinet know that there are not invisible powers who 
can overcome this force as easily as we ourselves can do? The 
fact of the rising of a table, or a man to the ceiling, is one that 
is easily verified by the senses ; and, if attested by witnesses of 
ordinary capacity and credibility, must be admitted. That it is 
contrary to the law of gravitation, proves not that it is impossi- 
ble, but that it is possible only preternaturally." In the words 
of Mr. Mill, there must be an " adequate counteracting cause." 

** Scientific men," says Mr. Shorter, ** should learn from expe- 
rience to be cautious in affirming the limit of the possible. The 
more completely they prove that the phenomena in question are 
not due to, and are impossible by, any physical agency, the 
more completely do they establish the necessary spiritual causa- 
tion of such phenomena. » Those men of science who have 



erected theories about the impossible, have not unfrequently 
built a monument to their own folly and shame. The circula- 
tion of the bloody the prevention of small-pox by vaccination, 
the fall of meteorolites, the lighting of towns by gas, convey- 
ance by steam, painless surgery, clairvoyance, — these, and 
many other things now familiar to us, have, each in its turn, 
been pronounced impossible by high authorities. One age 
laughs at an idea; the next adopts it. The impossible of yester- 
day is the familiar fact of to-day. In an age when steam is our 
conductor, and electricity our messenger, and the sun our por- 
trait-painter; when the every-day facts of life would have been 
a fairy tale a hundred years ago; who, especially with the 
knowledge that spiritual forces are working around and within 
us, will have the presumption to affirm that it is impossible for 
spiritual beings so to operate upon ourselves and surrounding 
objects as to make their presence evident even to our senses? 
Lord Bacon says, * We have set it down as a law to ourselves to 
examine things to the bottom, and not to receive upon credit, or 
reject upon improbabilities, until there hath passed a due exam- 
ination.* " 

■ The late Thomas Starr King was intuitively a Spiritualist. 
** What more arrogant and presumptuous folly can there be," he 
says, *' than that which a person exhibits, who makes his expe- 
rience of nature the measure of possibilities of nature? Yet 
this is what all of us do who object to the doctrine of the soul's 
immortality, that we cannot conceive how it is released from its 
fleshy bondage, nor what are the methods of its disembodied 
life. If we should hear any man soberly affirm that he did not 
believe that any process could go on in this universe, or any 
thing be true, which baffled his powers of comprehension, we 
should probably think that the application to him of Paul's 
apostrophe to the Corinthian doubter involved no dangerous lack 
of charity. It has pleased God to endow us with five senses, 
through which we hold conversation with the created realm. 
We do not know that five other media of communication might 
not be opened that would make the physical universe seem as 



different and as much higher than it now does, as if we were 
transported into another sphere. Who has told us that there 
cannot be any other avenues between the soul and matter than 
the touch, the taste, the ear, and the eye? Who has told us that 
all which exists right about us is reported by the limited appara- 
tus furnished to our nerves ? ... 

" It has been truly said by another, that we should * easily 
believe in a life to come, if this present life were the wonderful 
thing to us which it ought to be.' Here is the point. Not that 
there are startling difficulties in the way of conceiving a future 
existence, but that we lose the fine sense and the nice relish of 
the mystery and miracle that invest us here. There are a thou- 
sand scientific facts that would seem as marvellous to a culti- 
vated mind, if they had not been demonstrated and published 
in veracious treatises, as the continued existence of the body. 
What would Plato have said, could he have seen a man, without 
using any flame in the experiment, cause fire to burst out of a 
lump of ice ? Suppose that Newton had never heard of a load- 
stone, what would he have thought, could he have seen an iron 
weight, in defiance of the law of gravitation which he had just 
demonstrated, spring from the floor to the wall ? Before seeing 
the fact for the first time, would not the proposition have 
seemed as surprising to him, and as difficult to be believed, as 
the return of a dead man to life before his eyes, or the appear- 
ance of a spirit? And after he had seen it, how could he explain 
it? How can any man explain the phenomenon now? 

" Is the statement that there is an enduring spirit within us, 
entirely distinct from the corporeal organization, and which the 
cessation of the heart liberates to a higher mode of existence, 
any more startling than the statement that a drop of water, 
which may tremble and glisten on the tip of the finger, seem- 
ingly the most feeble thing in nature, from which the tiniest 
flower gently nurses its strength while it hangs upon its leaf, 
which a sunbeam may dissipate, contains within its tiny globe 
electric energy enough to charge eighf hundred thousand Ley- 
den jars, energy enough to split a cathedral as though it were a 



toy? And so that, of every cup of water we drink, each atom is 
a thunder storm ? 

''Is the idea of spiritual communication and intercourse, by 
methods far transcending our present powers of sight, speech, 
and hearing, beset with more intrinsic difficulties than the idea 
of conversing by a wire with a man in St. Louis, as quickly as 
with a man by your side, or of making a thought girdle the 
globe in a twinkling? And when we say that the spiritual "vyorld 
may be all around us, though our senses take no impression of 
it, what is there to embarrass the intellect in accepting it, when 
we know that, within the vesture of the air which we cannot 
grasp, there is the realm of light, the immense ocean of elec- 
tricity, and the constant currents of magnetism, all of them 
playing the most wonderful parts in the economy of the world, 
each of them far more powerful than the ocean, the earth, and 
the rocks, — neither of ihem at all comprehensible by our minds, 
while the existence of two of them is not apprehensible by any 

" Sweep away the illusion of Time," says Carlyle, " compress 
the threescore years into three minutes," and what are we our- 
selves but ghosts? " Are we not sptrits, that are shaped into a 
body, into an appearance? This is no metaphor:" it is a simple 
scientific fact. We start out of Nothingness, take figure, and 
are Apparitions : round us, as round the veriest spectre, is Eter- 
nity; and to Eternity minutes are as years and aeons. . . . 

**0 Heaven 1 it is mysterious, it is awful to consider that we 
ij^ot only carry, each a future Ghost within him, but are, in very 
I deed, Ghosts I These Limbs, whence had we them ; this stormy 
Force ; this life-blood with its burning Passion ? They are 
dust and shadow ; a Shadow-system gathered round our Me ; 
wherein, through some moments or years, the Divine Essence 
is to be revealed in the Flesh. That warrior on his strong war- 
horse, fire flashes through his eyes; force dwells in his arm 
and heart : but warrior and war-horse are a vision r a revealed 
Force^ nothing more. Stately they tread the earth, as if it were 
a firm substance: fool! the Earth is but a film; it cracks in 



twain, and warrior and war-horse sink beyond plummet's sound- 
ing. Plummet's? Fantasy herself will not follow them. A 
little while ago they were not ; a little while and they are not, 
their very ashes are not. 

** So it has been from the beginning; so will it be to the end. 
Generation after generation takes to itself the Form of a Body ; 
and forth issuing from Cimmerian iNight, on Heaven's mission 
APPEARS. What Force and Fire is in each he expends : one 
grinding in the mill of Industry ; one, hunter-like, climbing the 
giddy Alpine heights of Science ; one madly dashed in pieces 
on the rocks of Strife, in war with his fellow: and then the 
Heaven-sent is recalled; his earthly Vesture falls away, and 
soon, even to Sense, becomes a vanished Shadow. Thus, like 
wild-flaming, wild-thundering train of Heaven's Artillery, does 
this mysterious Mankind thunder and flame, in long-drawn, 
quick-succeeding grandeur, through the unknown Deep. . . . 
Earth's mountains are levelled, and her seas filled up, in our 
passage : can the Earthy which is but dead and a vision, resist 
Spirits which have reality and are alive ? On the hardest ada- 
mant some foot-print of us is stamped. in; the last Rear of the 
host will read traces of the earliest Van. But whence? — O 
Heaven, whither? Sense knows not; Faith knows not; only 
that it is through Mystery to Mystery, from God and to God." 

Carlyle reveals to us the spiritual side of man whilst in this 
world and fettered to his clog of flesh. The great facts of 
Spiritualism reveal man to us as he is when he emerges into " a 
purer ether, a diviner air," with his individualism unimpaired, 
and all that he has gained of good, through his affections and 
his understanding in this life, left whole as the vantage-ground 
of future progress. 



<* It is only since the middle of the eighteenth century that Spiritualism began to cease 
to be the prevalent faith of Christendom ; and parallel with this decline has been the 
denial of all revelation and the spread of atheistical philosophy. God, however, has not 
left himself without a witness ; and in our day, when Sadduceeism most abounds, evi- 
dences of a spiritual world have been multitudinous." — Thomas Shorter. 

TT 7E have seen what the first theories were in explanation of 

the phenomena of 1848. It was soon found that these 
theories were insufficient. Like Faraday's notion of an uncon- 
scious exercise of muscular force, they did not cover the new 
facts as they came up and multiplied. 

So long as the manifestations were confined to raps and table- 
tippings, it was surmised that they might proceed in some 
mysterious way from animal electricity, put in operation by the 
unconscious will of the medium or of other persons present. 

The late Dr. E. C. Rogers, a gentleman personally well known 
to us at the time the Rochester phenomena began to excite pub- 
lic attention, was the author of a work bearing the following 
title: "Philosophy of Mysterious Agents, Human and Mundane, 
or the Dynamic Laws and Relations of Man." His theory is 
that the whole body of phenomena, physical and mental, are 
referable to cerebral or mental action, through the medium of 
**a physical force associated with the human organism; and, 
under peculiar conditions, this physical force is made to emanate 
from that organism with a most terrible energy, and without 
any necessary conjunction with either spiritual or psychological 
agencj'." This agent may be the od, or odic force^ of Reichen- 
bach. It is not under the general control of the will, but is the 



mere agent of the unconscious organs, playing its part automat- 
ically, as the brain is aflfected. \ 

The material agent is thus put in operation by the peculiar 
changes that take place in the cerebral organs. That every 
thought, emotion, or passion is accompanied with a change of 
the motion of the brain, is assumed as one of the undisputed 
facts in physiology. It is the prerogative of every man's mind 
or spirit to control the motions, and, consequently, the changes 
of his brain, within prescribed limits. But, in certain condi- 
tions of the latter, such as mesmeric trance, catalepsy, sleep, cere- 
bral inflammation, passiveness of mind and will, and many 
others, the man's own personality is suspended in its prerogative 
action. The predominant influence upon it, then, becomes 
material or sensuous; and here, according to Dr. Rogers, the 
reflex action of another's brain will readily take effect. Anoth- 
er's wish or request will act like a law ; and a fictitious person- 
ality may be induced in the brain, and represented independently 
of the conscious personality, reason, and will of the individual.. 
It therefore follows that the specific action of one person's 
brain may be unconsciously propagated to another's brain, and 
there be exactly represented in a second cerebral action. This 
may propagate itself to the automatic centres in the spinal 
axis, and thus the involuntary play of the muscles may pro- 
duce the rappings, movements of furniture, and the other phe- 

In view of the many evidences of unconscious cerebral ac- 
tion. Dr. Roger's regards it as precipitate to attribute to the 
influence of disembodied spirits that which may lie within the 
sphere of the human organization and of mundane agencies. 
He then proceeds to show how the human organism may be 
influenced by drugs, so as to alter its conditions; and argues 
that, inasmuch as the agent, the substance on which it acts, and 
the new condition, are purely physical, the results must be 
physical also. It follows, therefore, that visions, somnambulism, 
ecstasy, which are pathematically produced, and also produced 
by the influence of drugs upon the organism, are the results of 



the material conditions of that organism, and do not require the 
spiritual hypothesis for their explanation. 

Dr. Rogers's conclusion is, that the whole body of phenomena 
of Spiritualism, including the past and the present, "oflfer to 
the philosopher a new view of man and his relations to the 
sphere in which he lives, by neglecting which the deepest mys- 
teries of the human being are left unsolved." 

This ingenious writer died before the more advanced phenom- 
ena recorded in this volume were made known to the world. 
Had he lived to become acquainted with them, he might have 
found that, whatever there may be of truth in his theory, is not 
inconsistent with the fact of the agency and appearance of dis- 
embodied spirits. 

Professor A. Mahan, Mr. Charles Bray, Dr. Samson, of Co- 
lumbia College, and others who have adopted the apneumatic or 
no-spirit view in regard to the phenomena, have done little more 
than either to put in new and expanded form the arguments of 
Dr. Rogers, or to Substitute for his notion of an odic force the 
simple hypothesis of nervous action. None of these opponents 
of the spiritual theory deny the facts. Professor Mahan says, 
" We shall admit the facts claimed by Spiritualists. We admit the 
facts for the all-adequate reason that, after careful inquiry, we 
have been led to conclude that they are real. We think that no 
candid inquirer xvho carefully investigates can come to any other 

The facts being admitted, Professor Mahan finds in Reichen- 
bach's odic force the mysterious agent by which they are mani- 
fested. But it is somewhat remarkable that Reichenbach himself, 
the original hypothetist of this odic force, modestly disclaims for 
it all such power as these writers attribute to it. He avowedly 
regards it merely as the means by which spiritual intelligence 
manifests itself; as the channel through which it sends its 
forces. That it is in itself an intelligent, personal principle, 
able to take the shape of the human body, and to conduct itself 
like an individual in the flesh, makes no part of his hypothesis ; 
and this notion certainly demands as great an eftbrt of credulity 
as any theory of direct spiritual action. 



' President Samson is of opinion that all the manifestations, 
supposed to be spiritual, are really natural, the working of an 
agent intermediate between mind and matter, for which agent 
the can give no better name than the nervous fluid. 

He tells us that, when, in 1848, Arago witnessed the attraction 
and repulsion of heavy bodies at the presence of Angelique 
Cottin, a nervous factory-girl, who, having begun suddenly to 
exhibit this wonderful derangement, was carried up to Paris, 
to appear before the Academy, that great philosopher, being 
asked his opinion about it, remarked, " That is yet to be set- 
tled. It seems to have no identity with electricity; and yet, 
when one touches her in the paroxysms, there is a shock, like 
that given by the discharge of the Ley den jar. It seems to have 
no identity with magnetism proper, for it has no re-action on 
the needle ; and yet the north pole of a magnet has the most 
powerful re-action on her, producing shocks and trembling. 
This is not effected through the influence of her imagination, as 
the magnet has the same influence, whether brought secretly 
near her, or otherwise.* It seems a new force. At all events, 
whatever if be, time and research will determine, with a sufli- 
cient number of cases. One thing, however, seems to be certain : 
the phenomena of this case show, very plainly, that whatever 
the force is which acts so powerfully from the organism of this 
young girl, it does not act alone. It stands in mysterious rela- 
tion to some mundane force, which acts and re-acts with it. 
This is witnessed in the re-action which external things have 
upon her person, often attracting her with great power. It is a 
curious inquiry, and may open to us new resources in the nature 
of man and of the world, of which we have little dreamed." 

In two bulky volumes, published in 1855, Count Agenor de 
Gasparin, takes a view of the question not dissimilar to that of 
President Samson, whom he quotes and commends. The Count 

* This is no proof^ however, that her imaginatioii may not have operated in the 
c»«e ; for her clairvoyance may have' enabled her to detect the instances in which 
the magnet was secrttfy brought near her. 



is a leading Protestant writer of the evangelical school, and is 
well known to Americans. He avows his belief in the reality of 
the early phenomena, gives an extended narrative of facts elicited 
by himself at a series of sittings, in 1853, shows the fallacy of 
Faraday's attempted explanation. He replies, at length, to the 
suggested fear that to admit the facts will give ground for super- 
stition and credence in false miracles. He shows the marked 
line between just confidence in undeniable facts and the perver- 
sions of imagination, by reference to Ammianus Marcellinus, the 
old Roman historian, who refers to /a^/c-revelations the perfect 
counterpart of those of 1848. The people of Rome were expect 
ing that Theodorus would become the emperor; and, of course, 
when the tables were consulted, they gave the letters of that 
name; whereas it proved that Theodosius\i^c2iVCiQ. the emperor. 
He quotes', also, Tertullian's mention, in these words : " Mensae 
divinare consueverunt : " Tables are accustomed to divine. 

He quotes a case examined by Chamillard, doctor of the Sor- 
bonne, in the seventeenth century, in which the same result was 
reached as that reported by the French Academy's commission to 
report on Mesmer's experiments, which prior result was thus sen- 
tentiously recorded : *' Multa ficta, pauca vera, k dsemone nulla : " 
Many things fictitious^ a few true, from a demon none. Coming to 
the consideration of the natural cause of the phenomena, Gaspa- 
rin ascribes them to the excess of nervous susceptibility. All that 
is real in such as are regarded as supernatural is to be found, he 
thinks, in an undue and diseased action of the nervous organism. 
He quotes from Arago what that philosopher says on the subject 
of Mesmer*s experiments : "Effects, analogous or inverse, might 
evidently be occasioned by a fluid subtle, invisible, impondera- 
ble ; by a sort of nervous fluid, or of magnetic fluid, if this be 
preferred, which may circulate in our organs." He also quotes 
from Cuvier, who was of opinion that the effects of mesmerism 
are clearly due "to some sort of communication established be- 
tween the nervous systems " of the subject and the operator. 

His conclusion is substantially like that of the Report of the 
French Commission on Mesmerism ; namely, that the reported 



phenomena of the so-called spiritual manifestations are to be 
referred partly to errors of testimony, arising from the natural 
spirit of man to exaggerate the character and number of the 
facts; partly to the hallucination of an excited imagination, 
which suggests an exaggerated idea of the cause as supernat- 
ural; and chiefly to the real action of the nervous fluids by which 
phenomena analogous to those in electricity and magnetism are 

The new and irreconcilable facts that have come up since 
Gasparin arrived at these conclusions, make his theory wholly 
unsatisfactory at this time. It will not do to attribute to hallu- 
cination the results of the calm scrutiny of hundreds, nay, 
thousands, of competent observers, free from all undue excite- 
ment or bias, investigating the phenomena with the perfect 
composure which continued familiarity must always give, and 
actuated by no sectarian or anti-sectarian preconceptions. 
There are a multitude of witnesses now to the extraordinary, as 
well as to the ordinary, facts of Spiritualism ; and some other 
hypothesis must be resorted to than that of ** errors in testi- 
mony." "V^hen such men as De Morgan, Wallace, Varley, 
Denton, Owen, Wilkinson, Shorter, Howitt, Leigh ton, Cole- 
man, Gunning, Gray, Mountford, Ashburner, Bell, Farrar, Liv- 
ermore, Brittan, and hundreds of others in all the various 
professions, testify to a certain class of phenomena, the pooh- 
pooh argument, in reply, has lost its power, and falls flat, 
except on the ears of the uninformed. 

. To admit all the marvellous facts of Spiritualism, and still to 
reject the spiritual hypothesis in accounting for them, seems 
to require, at the first thought, a greater stretch of credulity 
than the wildest spiritual belief. But Mr. J. W.* Jackson, of 
England, an experienced mesmerist, a man of science, and a 
full believer in spiritual realities, admits the most startling of 
. the recent phenomena; but, like Sir David Brewster, will not 
** give in " to the theory of spiritual agency in their production. 
He assumes that mesmerism, minus spirits, explains all. He 
treats modem Spiritualism as Comte treats all religious creeds, 



/simply as a new illustration of the same tendency of mind which 
/ induced the human race, in earlier ages, to attribute* great natu- 

Iral phenomena, such as thunder, eclipses, volcanoes, &c., to the 
intervention of spiritual beings, angry deities. 
"The spiritual hypothesis," he says, "is the product of a law 
of the human mind, in virtue of which it is impelled to supple- 
ment knowledge by superstition ; and so, when there is no as- 
signable cause for a phenomenon, it is at once relegated to the 
realm of miracle." — "Originating in a mental necessity for 
assigning some cause, real or imaginary, for every clearly recog- 
nized effect, the spiritual hypothesis is an inevitability with 
minds at the theologic stage, whenever a phenomenon tran- 
scends the range of recognized scientific knowledge." — " In 
earlier ages, the spiritual hypothesis, or, in other words, a 
theory of the miraculous, amply sufficed as an explanation of 
all otherwise inexplicable phenomena." 

In reply to these views, Mr. Andrew Leighton remarks, ** I 
doubt not every competent and patient investigator will find 
that, after the most careful discrimination of facts, after dis- 
counting all that is clearly mundane, and all that is not clearly, 
but only possibly, mundane, there will remain a residuum, which, 
if we are to attempt the resolution of the facts at all, will necessi- 
tate the supramundane hypothesis, and thus render it, so far 
from being * inadmissible,' realty the only rationally admissible 
one, since it will be found to be the only hypothesis adequate to 
cover all the facts." 

The rival hypothesis he sets down as this : " That the brain 
has in it active potentialities unknown to consciousness, — not 
only unknown, but opposed to consciousness ; to which poten- 
tialities, as a last resource, must be referred the otherwise inex- 
plicable and indomitable facts." 

" Notwithstanding," adds Mr. Leighton, " what has been 
said as to the rationality, and hideed necessity, of the spiritual 
hypothesis, it is not meant that this is to be held, except as an 
hypothesis, ready to be yielded up immediately that another 
capable of more perfectly explaining the facts, in accordance 

MR. J. w. Jackson's theory. 


with all other truths of science, can be produced. Until the 
scientific mind, par excellence^ shall produce that, it had better 
suppress its scorn and its supercilious condescensions." 

With respect to the facts of Spiritualism, Mr. Jackson makes 
as large admissions as any Spiritualist could desire; yet his 
explanation is substantially the same as that of other upholders 
of the anti-spiritual hypothesis. 

" Spiritual manifestations," he says, " are divided into mental 
and physical; and the spiritual hypothesis presupposes that, 
under each, there are phenomena to whose production Nature 
is inadequate. Let us now test this in reference to the first 
class, where it may be freely admitted that you not only have 
intelligence, but supersensuous intelligence ; that is, you obtain 
information beyond the ordinary cognition of the medium, and 
sometimes beyond the knowledge or experience of any one 
present at the circle, and this, too, in reference to things past, 
distant, or future. It is in this way, indeed, that you have 
obtained a very large moiety of your converts, and those too 
often of a rather superior order of intellect ; and yet there is 
nothing here but a manifestation of that clairvoyant power with 
which the mesmerist has been long familiar. 

"After more than twenty years' experience, in which I have 
employed lucides of^arious ages and of both sexes, I could not 
fix the limits of thre extraordinary faculty, and say. Here the 
natural power of the medium terminates, and there spiritual aid 
must have supervened. This probably reveals to you the key 
by which I propose to unlock the mysteries of the circle. The 
latter, when rightly constituted, is a most powerful mesmeric 
battery, of whose nervo-vital current the medium is the duly 
susceptible recipient. Now, in the present very imperfect state 
of our knowledge, it is quite impossible to predicate the maxi- 
mum of result obtainable under such conditions, and unless we 
can do so, the assumption of spiritual aid, in any particular 
case, is perfectly gratuitous; quite permissible as a soothing 
succeedaneum to undisciplined minds, but altogether inadmissi- 
ble as a scientific hypothesis. The same remark applies to 




spontaneous exaltation, whether of a literary, artistic, or even 
prophetic character, on the part of a medium. Such unusual 
displays of mental power are simply manifestations of ecstatic 
lucidity, taking that particular form ; and, in the preseiit^tate 
of our knowledge, it is quite impossible to say what are the 
unaided limits of a gifted human mind in this direction." 

On the subject of levitation, elongation of body, and other 
phenomena, Mr. Jackson says, " But when we find lightness of 
body frequently recorded as an accompaniment of ecstatic illu- 
mination, not only in Christian, but also Brahminical and 
Buddhistic legends, the idea is at once suggested that it may be 
the result, in certain temperaments, of unusually exalted nervous 
function. Such facts suggest the institution of further experi- 
ments, rather than the hasty formation of a spiritual hypothesis ; 
for they seem to indicate that nervo-vital power has in it an 
element antagonistic to the action of gravitation ; and lightness 
of body may be only an extreme manifestation of this force, the 
accompaniment of a crisis, or the effect of consentaneous action 
in a well-constituted and harmonious circle of human organ- 

As to the movements of ponderable articles, these are referred, 
by Mr. Jackson, to " the intervention of life-power under condi- 
tions not yet known to science." ^ 

Upon this Mr. Leighton remarks, "We Hold that the intelli- 
gence and will implied in the physical manifestations are not 
those of the passive media in whose presence they occur, but are 
demonstrably those of beings distinct from the members of the 
mundane company. Sometimes, as Mr. Jackson knows, they 
are said to be actually visible to one or more of the company, 
though invisible to the rest. The moral argument of the integ- 
rity of the seers — not to be got over by mere psychological 

iqi putat ions — has therefore to be met, besides the evidence of 

seers and non-seers alike, when the physical manifestations 
alone are considered. That * there is really nothing more 
miraculous in the apparently spontaneous ascent of a table to 
the ceiling than in the corresponding ascent of a needle under 



the influence of a magnet,* is quite as firmly asserted by the 
Spiritualist as by the Nonrspiritualist. Why should Mr. Jackson 
imply, and so constantly iterate, the implication to the contrary? 
His notion of the intervention of a vague * life-power* — an 
unconscious efflux of the company, accomplishing all the intel- 
ligent voluntary motions imposed upon the table or other pas- 
sive piece of furniture, sometimes according to the desire pf 
those present, sometimes against their wishes, and in defiance 
of their every eflfort to prevent them — approaches far more 
nearly the * miraculous ' than the hypothesis he so persistently 
attempts to identify therewith. . 

" Repeating the sophism already exposed in other relations, 
Mr. Jackson says, * As we are ignorant of the power of a life- 
circle, it is impossible to assign limits to its effects ; and until 
these are reached, spiritual intervention is a needless accessory.* 
Was it the Ufe-pozver of the circle, which on one occasion con- 
centrated itself in my presence, seized a slate-pencil, and wrote 
out a sentence which was certainly not in the mind of any who 
were visibly present? Was it the same power which manipu- 
lated the keys of an accordion, and played, with artistic ability 
and feeling never surpassed, the tune of * Home, Sweet Home,* 
in opposition to the expressed wishes of several present, who 
asked for other tunes? Talk of the miraculous in Spiritualism I 
Can any thing be more miraculous or gratuitous than the con- 
ceptions of this votary of science in his endeavors to escape the 
only hypothesis which, without straining, naturally and com- 
pletely covers all the facts? To assume that the mesmeric power 
of the circle, in any form or degree, is capable of accounting for 
such facts, appears to us as gratuitous, not to say ridiculous, as 
to apply Faraday's unconscious muscular hypothesis in explana- 
tion of the movement of physical objects upon which there was 
no mus^cular impact, or upon which the muscular impact was 
strenuously exerted the opposite way.*' 

The remarks of the "London Spiritual Magazine** (May, 
1S6S), in relation to Mr. Jackson's theory, deserve to be quoted 
in this connection. We here subjoin them : — 



" Mr. Jackson, the author of * Ecstatics of Genius,* and of 
various lectures on mesmerism, has long, like other magnetists, 
found a great difficulty in accepting the phenomena called spir- 
itual as actually proceeding from spirits. Some years ago, a 
friend of ours, on reading Mr. Jackson's mesmeric publications, 
told him that he saw exactly where he was, — that he was on the 
staircase leading to the chambers of Spiritualism, but had not 
reached the rooms for which the staircase was built. Mr. Jack- 
son is on the staircase still, and, to all appearance, likely to 
remain there. In an address delivered some time ago to the 
Glasgow Spiritualists, he ass^jred them that he fully admitted 
the reality of the phenomena which they attributed to spiritual 
influence, but that he was quite satisfied himself that spirits had 
nothing whatever to do with them. In this assurance we are 
persuaded that Mr. Jackson is perfectly sincere ; . and, still more, 
that he cannot possibly come to any othei conclusion. It is the 
result of the pre-occupation of his brain with lucid magnetic 
theories, from which he can no more escape than the bird that 
is once enclosed in the net of the fowler. That he will ever 
persuade a single Spiritualist, however, to adopt his convic- 
tions, we cannot encourage him to hope. Louis Biichree, in his 
* Natur und Geist ' and * Kraft und Stoflf,* and Carus Sterne, in 
his * Naturgeschichte,* have gone over the whole of his ground 
most elaborately and ably, but with the discouraging result of 
convincing nobody who had come to the examination of these 
phenomena with a mind free from professional theories. 

"Many men, eminent for their habits of metaphysical re- 
search ; many men of profound science, — have tested the char- 
acter of these phenomena, and have been compelled to adopt 
the spiritual theory as the only one capable of explaining them. 
Professor Hare, of America, entered on this inquiry with as 
strong a persuasion as any man has ever entertained, that he 
should rout the spiritual theory altogether. As a man of prac- 
tical science, a profound electrician, and an avowed disbeliever 
in revelation, he entered on the inquiry with the utmost care, 
and pursued it with the utmost pertinacity for two years ; but he 


came out of it a firm believer in the spiritual agency, con- 
curred in the manifestations, and proclaimed himself a thorough 
Christian. Judge Edmonds, as a lawyer, went through the same 
laborious inquiry with the same result. Professor Mapes and 
Dr. Gray, of America, are also examples of philosophers as 
accomplished and as practical as those who are likely to follow 
in the same tracks If philosophers, as Mr. Jackson affirms, be 
the only men capable of unravelling the mystery of these phe- 
nomena, here we have a number of them ; and their decision is 
adverse to his position. 

"Mr. Jackson in a stately and ex cathedra style assures us 
that, in his opinion, physical laws will explain the whole of 
the phenomena. That such laws, and others yet little known, 
are at work in these matters, evjery one knows ; but it seems to 
us to require very little acquaintance with these things, to per- 
ceive that the laws which operate in them are conjointly resident 
in spirits incarnate and spirits de-carnated. Mr. Jackson refers 
to the great fact, that the intelligences involved in these phe- 
nomena have uniformly asserted that they are individual and 
actual spirits, and not mere laws and forces ; have asserted this 
in every country and to every class of people ; and he thinks he 
has an answer to this rather strong fact. In all ages and coun- 
tries, he says, communications, professing to proceed from spir- 
its, have reflected the creeds and opinions of those to whom 
they came. Pagans, Greek, and Roman' philosophers, Buddh- 
ists, Brahmists, Chinese followers of Fohi and Lootse, Chris- 
tian, Catholic, and Protestant, all have received communications 
in accordance with their own beliefs. Nay : mythologic gods 
have appeared to mythologists ; the Virgin Mary and Catholic 
saints, to Catholics. Mr. Jackson's conclusion, therefore, is, that 
all these communications and apparitions are the objective re- 
sults of the subjective powers and spirits of those who indulge 
in these occult practices and speculations. 

**The fact is correct and historical; but the explanation, in 
our opinion^ comes from a very diflferent quarter. It is the 
result of ft fixed law, — Mike draws to like.* Beyond this, we 



know enough now to understand that spirits carry with them 
into the other world the views, opinions, habits, creeds, preju- 
dices, and self-wills which had taken possession of them here. 
The immense hosts of spirits, * gone before,* are always anxious 
to perpetuate their peculiar faiths and opinions amongst their 
successors on earth, and spare no pains or disguises to effect 
this. To the old Greeks and Romans they came in the shape of 
their gods ; they delivered oracles to them as their gods ; to the 
Roman Catholics they came as the Holy Mother, and as saints 
and saintesses. To those who think themselves philosophical, 
they still come as Socrates, Bacon, Shakespeare, Franklin, and 
the like, though with very little evidence of the intellect or 
genius of those great souls. As the Romans believed that, at 
the battle of Cannse, their soldiers and those of the Carthagi- 
nians still continued the conflict in the air after they were slain ; 
and as the hosts of Attila, in the battle of the Huns, were said 
to do the same, — we believe and have no doubt, that every 
species of departed spirit, and that in hosts and countless bat- 
talions, are still zealously infusing their own views, and the 
views of their partisanships, into the minds of their successors 
on earth, and endeavoring to rule here still, and thus stir up the 
worst passions and practices of this afflicted world. 

"Now, though the forces operating in these phenomena, pro- 
fess themselves to belong to different churches and religions, 
different creeds and philosophies, they all agree in one point; 
namely, that they are individual spirits, and not mere forces, 
or laws physical or spiritual. Their evidence regarding this fact 
is clear, uniform, and persistent; and for this universal and 
unvarying expression there must be a cause, and that cause can- 
not be a lie. Why should mere laws, physical or spiritual, 
be lies? How can they be lies, if they are laws and forces 
impressed upon the living cosmos by its Creator? Mr. Jackson, 
on reflection, must perceive the dilemma into which his theory 
has led him. And let him for a moment suppose that these 
powers, whatever they be, had as uniformly, as clearly and 
persistently declared themselves to be merely laws and forces ; 


suppose, in fact, that they had declared themselves on the side 
of the philosopher, — does he not see. with what an lo Paean of 
triumph they would have been received? with what a clamor 
the philosopher would have denounced all attempts to declare 
them not laws and forces, but spirits ? 

** Mr. Jackson is of opinion that scientific men are the only 
ones qualified to judge of these phenomena, and to bring to 
light what they really are. No idea can be more delusive. 
That scientific men are the best judges of their own natural 
laws and processes, we readily admit ; but in these phenomena 
there are laws in operation which they are totally ignorant of, 
and which they cannot possibly test by any apparatus or mate- 
rials in their laboratories. Beyond and besides this, they are, 
from their prejudices and adopted theories, totally disqualified 
for a clear and effective examination of this question. Their 
minds have become stereotyped in particular theories, to which 
the phenomena of Spiritualism run counter. Mr. Jackson him- 
self is a living proof of such men being totally disqualified for 
the free and penetrating examination of such a subject. He 
believes in all the phenomena, but denies the conclusions drawn 
by the common sense of many millions of men, and can hjring 
himself to believe that intelligences which can come, and reason 
acutely, and make themselves seen, heard, and felt avowedly as 
individual spirits, are mere laws and forces emanating from, or 
existing in, the persons who perceive them. 

" And what is really astounding is, that Mr. Jackson, whilst 
uttering so decided an opinion, shows that he has totally misun- 
derstood the nature of the phenomena on which he discourses. 
He puts into the same category the * fiowers, fruit, birds,* &c., 
* which form the stock wonders of the circle.* He imagines 
them to issue from the vital forces of the circle itself, and 
to disappear an'd dissolve again rapidly. This may apply to 
the hand which appears at the Davenport siances, and to the 
fiowers which were brought by the apparition wife of Mf . Liver- 
more, of New York; but the flowers, fruits, &c., which are pro- 
duced at the siances of Mr. Guppy, and the birds which have 


appeared at these sdances, are real earthly flowers and birds, 
which are brought through walls and doors of closed rooms, 
and remain. One of the birds remains in a cage to this day. 
Some of the fruits are kept by those who received them. They 
were not produced by any physical power of the circle. They 
came whence no one knew ; and thty could not, therefore, come 
in consequence of any internal power exercised by the party 
assembled. They must be brought by beings, reasoning beings 
out of the flesh ; and no philosopher can possibly propound a 
more simple or palpable theory than the universal one, that 
) they are brought by spirits who aflirm themselves to be spirits. 

" Again, the iron collar, which we now hear is made to pass 
over the head of a youth in America, though seven inches less 
in interior circumference than the head, is not a collar evolved 
magically from the minds or the latent forces of the persons of 
the circle, but is an actual collar, made without any hinge or 
opening by the blacksmith. The philosopher, who shall explain 
this phenomenon, must know a great deal more about matter 
than the most profound physiologist who ever lived; and, in 
our single opinion, it can never be explained, except on the 
hypothesis that matter, under the influence of spirit, is in a 
condition totally difierent from its condition when operated 
upon solely by natural laws, however subtle and potent. 

"We are so far from entertaining Mr. Jackson's idea that 
scientific men are the best qualified to examine these singular 
phenomena, that we feel sure that so soon as they are compelled, 
like himself, to admit the reality of the facts, their scientific 
prejudices will lead them vehemently to endeavor to treat them- 
as the results of material laws, as he himself does. This will 
assuredly become the philosophical phase of the question, when- 
ever the denial of tht fact is at an end. We cannot hope, that, 
on having made this step of advance, the philosophers will 
have got much nearer the truth, because they will, from habit, 
persist in seeking for the solution of the mystery in a direction 
in which it is not to be found. The plain sense of mankind will 
still march on far ahead of them." 


Another critic asks, "Has not Mr. Jackson resuscitated the 
theories of Democritus and Epicurus, peopling the universe with 
BldcjXa, or imagery the objective world has mirrored forth into 
space? Epicurus tell us that our brain imagery is constantly 
flitting about, distinguishable from the reflected forms of an 
objective reality, by its greater subtileness and evanescent char- 
acter. He says, * The imagery of the senses, and of our phan- 
tasy, are realities ('Evapy^f oAoyof), and cannot be denied.*" 

We do not see a difficulty in admitting both the pneumatic 
and apneumatic solution for these manifestations. It is not 
unlikely that many of the minor phenomena, attributed with 
sincerity by many partially developed mediums to spirits, may 
be produced by the unconscious exercise of spiritual powers 
latent in the individual ; while other phenomena are of so ex- 
traordinary a character that the more rational explanation may 
be found in the theory of the application of an external spirit- 
ual intelligence or force. 

The narratives of apparitions of living persons are very 
numerous, and the facts collected in this volume are not incon- 
sistent with the possibility of such phenomena. The Germans 
have a familiar word to designate persons of whom they are 
related ; calling them doftpelgangers or double-goers, Jung Still- 
ing says, " Examples have come to my knowledge in which sick 
persons, overcome with an unspeakable longing to see some 
absent friend, have fallen into a swoon, and during that swoon 
have appeared to the distant object of their aflfection." 

In his," Footfalls on the Boundary of another World," Robert 
Dale Owen gives a number of narratives which he personally 
took pains to authenticate in relation to this subject. We select 
the following : — 

"In May, 1540, Dr. D , a noted physician of Washington, 

was residing with his wife and his daughter, Sarah, near Piney 
Point in Virginia. One afternoon the two ladies were walking 
out in a copse-wood not far from their residence, when, at a dis- 
tance on the road, coming towards them, they saw a gentleman. 
* Sally,' said Mrs. D , * there comes your father to meet us.' 



*I think not,' the daughter replied : * that cannot be papa; it is 
not so tall as he.' 

" As he neared them, the daughter's opinion was confirmed. 

They perceived that it was not Dr. D , but a Mr. Thompson, 

a gentleman with whom they were well acquainted, and who 
was at that time, though they then knew it not, a patient of Dr. 

D 's. They observed also, as he came nearer, that he was 

dressed in a blue frock-coat, black satin waistcoat, and black 
pantaloons and hat. Also, on comparing notes afterwards, 
both ladies, it appeared, had noticed that his linen was particu- 
larly fine, and that his whole apparel seemed to have been very 
carefully adjusted. 

" He came up so close that they were on the very point of 
addressing him, but at that moment he stepped aside, as if to let 
them pass ; and then, even while the eyes of both the ladies were 
upon him, he suddenly and entirely disappeared. 

" The astonishment of Mrs. D and her daughter may be 

imagined. They could scarcely believe the evidence of their 
own eyes. They lingered, for a time, on the spot, as if expect- 
ing to see him re-appear; then, with that strange feeling which 
comes over us when we have just witnessed something unexam- 
pled and incredible, they hastened home. 

"They afterwards ascertained through Dr. D , that his 

patient Mr. Thompson, being seriously indisposed, was confined 
to his bed ; and thai he had not quitted his room, nor indeed his 
bed, throughout the entire day, 

*• It may properly be added, that, though Mr. Thompson was 
familiarly known to the ladies, and much respected by them as 
an estimable man, there were no reasons existing why they 
should take any more interest in him, or he in them, than in 
the case of any other friend or acquaintance. He died just six 
weeks from the day of the appearance. 

"The above narrative is of unquestionable authenticity. It 

was communicated in Washington in June, 1859, Mrs. D 

herself, and the manuscript being submitted to her for revision, 
was assented to as accurate." 


Our friend, Mr. Benjamin Coleman, supplies the following 
remarks on this subject : ** Among the most intelligent in- 
quirers with whom I conversed at Brighton, was a lady of title. 
She told me that she was one of those present at the Davenport 
sdance, held at the residence of Sir Hesketh Fleetwood. She 
was seated in the dark siance by the side of a gentleman, whose 
previous skepticism, he confessed to her, was fast disappearing 
in the face of the facts they were witnessing, when a light was 
suddenly struck, and both of them distinctly saw the form of Ira 
Davenport glide close past them. This incident very much dis- 
turbed the confidence of Lady L , and entirely satisfied the 

skeptic that imposition was practised; and he left the room a 

confirmed unbeliever. I told Lady L , that, on his return to 

London, Mr. Ferguson ♦ spoke to me of this very fact, as one of 
the most curious that had yet occurred at any of the stances. 
He was holding, he said, the box of matches, as he usually 
does, when the box was snatched from his hand, and a light was 
struck by the invisible operator; and, during the momentary ig- 
nition of the match, he plainly saw a form, apparently of a hu- 
man figure. He said nothing at the moment, but whispering the 
fact to Mr. Fay, he confirmed it ; and afterwards several of those 
present admitted that they, too, had seen it. Mr. Ferguson, 
however, was not aware that any one present supposed it to be 
the actual person of Ira Davenport, as no observation to that 
effect was made; and, as Ira Davenport was seen instantly 
afterwards, when the light was restored, fast bound to his chair, 

it was simply impossible that the suspicions of Lady L and 

her friend could have been well founded. But admitting that 
two competent witnesses did actually see the form of Ira Daven- 
port on that occasion, it is corroborative of a very important 
and interesting fact, and distinct phase of these puzzling mys- 
teries of spiritual appearances ; namely, the duplication of in- 
dividual form. 

* The Rev. J. B. Ferguson, of Tennessee, a gentleman who has given a good deal 
of attention to the spiritual phenomena, and whose testimony is believed to be above 
suspicion. He was with the Davenports for a time in England. 



" Mr. Ferguson, who did not on that occasion recognize the 
resemblance to Ira Davenport, nevertheless has, as he solemnly 
asserts, seen at other times, when alone with them, the entire 
duplicated form of Ira Davenport, and a part of Mr. Fay ; and, 
in my first conversation with the Davenport Brothers, they told 
me, among other curious facts of their extraordinary history, 
that persons had said they had met one or the other of them in 
places where they had not been. ' On one, occasion their father 
went to a neighboring shop to order some fruit, when he was 
told by the shopkeeper that his son Ira had just been there, and 
had already ordered the fruit. It was, however, satisfactorily 
proved that Ira had not left the house, and that the man must 
have seen his ' wraith * or * double.* 

"I may as well anticipate the question that will no doubt arise 
in the minds of many : * That supposing the spirit of a living 
person can assume a natural form and become an active intelli- 
gent agent, producing mechanical effects, may not that account 
for much of what we are accustomed to attribute to the presence 
of the spirits of departed persons ? * 

" I answer, * Tes! * but not all. We have too much evidence of 
spiritual individual identity, and too many instances of direct 
intelligence, perfectly independent of surrounding witnesses, to 
admit the possibility of our own spirits acting on all occasions 
the double, and deceiving our senses. 

"Again it may be asked, *Do you think that any of the phe- 
nomena which we are accustomed to attribute to spirits of the 
dead may be produced by the spirits of the living.? * and again, I 
answer, *YesI' After close observation and calm reflection 
upon the whole range of these Davenport manifestations, I am 
inclined to believe that the rope-tying and untying, the handling 
and carrying about of musical instruments, &c., are partly 
effected by their * doubles,' and it may be that these are in part 
assisted by other spirits. The unerring certainty with which 
the same phenomena are produced in the presence of the Daven- 
ports day after day tends to confirm the opinion that their own 
'spirits,' or 'doubles/ pioduce many of the mechanical effects 


which we witness. On one occasion when they were bound in 
the usual manner within the cabinet, and the test of filling their 
hands with flour was applied, a group of four hands was seen; 
and one of them I plainly saw was covered with flour. 

"And another idea occurs to me: as it is certain that four 
instruments are played upon at one time, requiring the agency 
of six or eight hands, it may be that the medium's hands are not 
only duplicated, but that they are triplicated and multiplied ac- 
cording to the necessities of the case, and the existing condi- 
tions and strength of the medium-power. We know that there 
is upon record ample evidence of apparitional appearances of 
persons still living, sometimes seen at the point of death, 
sometimes days before, and held to be death warnings ; and at 
other times of persons in health, and remaining so for an inde- 
finite period, and again there are instances of persons seeing 

"From these, and many other sources, much corroborative 
evidence may be obtained to establish the fact that the spirit- 
forms of living persons have been seen at various times and 
places, and the theory, which I now venture to suggest, is, that 
many manifestations which Spiritualists are accustomed to attrib- 
ute to the spirits of the departed are, in truth, effected by their 
own doubles. 

" This idea can in no degree destroy our cherished belief in 
the power departed spirits to communicate with us. On the 
contrary, it tends to confirm it; for if spirits in the flesh can 
assume a tangible form and actually produce certain mechan- 
ical effects, why may not spirits out of the flesh be able to do all 
this and much more ? Let it be once recognized that spirit is a 
living entity when separated from the fleshly body, having a 
dynamic power over matter, and the great difiiculty which en- 
shrouds the materialistic mind vanishes. I am not wedded to a 
dogma on this or any other subject. I am only concerned to 

* Kerner relates a case in which Mrs. HaufiS, who was ill in bed at the time, sud- 
denly perceived the appearance of herself seated in a chair. As Kerner himself saw 
nothing, the vision will of course be set down by the bcredulous as purely subjective. 



uphold, in opposition to the arrogant assumptions of ignorant 
skeptics, that the phenomena of which we speak are not to be 
attributed to delusion, to legerdemain, or to any recognized 
natural cause." 

If in the human organism there are powers which enable a 
man to see without eyes, and to do the work of the corporeal 
tenses without the aid of those senses, then we may infer that it 
is through tlie exercise of a faculty, independent not only of the 
particular organ of sense, but of the whole physical body. Mr. 
Jackson admits that, in virtue of our being spirits, we possess 
the powers manifested by spirits," and that ** there is not the 
least necessity for going outside of ourselves for these things." 
Why, then, should the mere dropping of our material husk at 
death disable us from producing, as disembodied spirits, the 
same effects we could produce, through our purely spiritual 
faculties, while we were in the flesh? 

Undoubtedly, many phenomena referred by inexperienced ob- 
serv^ers to the agency of spirits do not require a supramundane 
solution. Whether in or out of the corporeal form, the human 
spirit may have certain powers; and its phenomenal manifesta- 
tions, whether it be in its embodied or disembodied state (and 
when we speak of body we mean only the visible earthly body)^ 
may have many points of similarity. It may sometimes be diffi- 
cult to trace the origin of facts occurring along that mysterious 
border-land, where the visible and invisible seem to^blend. 

The advocates of the no-spirit theory have much to say of 
" unconscious cerebration " and the controlling agency of the 
will; but may not this be only another name for that spiritual 
contact of our souls with the spiritual world, from which, ac- 
cording to Swedenborg, we get so many of our impressions.? 

The puerile character of many of the communications for 
which a spiritual origin is claimed; the reckless assumption of 
the names of great men and women by pretended spirits ; the 
muthorof some imbecile doggerel, claiming to be Shakespeare; 

designer of some atrocious picture, signing himself Michael 
Angdoi and the utterer of some stupid commonplace askine: us 


to believe he is Lord Bacon, — of course make the spiritual pre- 
tensions of the communicants ridiculous in the estimation of 
most persons of taste, But when it is realized that spirits are 
not a kind of minor gods ; that they carry with them the charac- 
ters they formed in this, or, it may be, in anterior lives ; that 
there are among them the frivolous, the vain, the mendacious, 
and the malignant, with 9II their imperfections on their heads, 
just as they left this world, — the fact that a worthless communi- 
cation may yet be spiritual in its origin does not seem so difficult 
of belief. 

These indications that the next life is a state similar in kind 
to this present life, and only a step higher in an ascending series 
of existences ; one into which we carry our human nature, and 
in which progress * is but gradual, — are contrary to the general 
theological conceptions of the next stage of being, and are dis- 
tasteful to the feelings of many, whose notions of the hereafter, 
of the "saved" and the "elect," are of a state of passive beati- 
tude. But perhaps the views of modern Spiritualism on this 
subject derive some support from analogy, harmonizing as they 
do with those facts of physical progress taught by geology and 
by the study of organic forms from primeval times. 

Since we have an eternity before us, in which to grow in 
knowledge and in virtue, why should we expect to mount at 
once, without any merit or effort of our own, to the summit of 
all possible bliss and wisdom? Spiritualism, rightly under- 
stood, might teach us that the true kingdom of heaven is not 
'Without man, either in this present or in any other home, where 
his spirit may successively dwell in those "many mansions," 
the scenes of the divine bounty and power ; but, as Christ tells 
us, within^ in the will, the affections, and the mind. 

Our sketch of the noteworthy theories that have been put 

• " Mortal progress," says H. J. Slack, " and, for aught we know, part of immortal 
progress also, is accompanied by occasional retrogression.'* Or, perhaps, our course ' 
of ascension being, as Goethe teHs us, spiral^ what may seem retrogression may be 
one of the conditions of progress. 



forth on the subject of these phenomena would be incomplete 
without a mention of that of Professor Daumer, whose work, 
** Das Geisterreich," appeared in Dresden in 1867. According to 
his pneumatologj, ** Ghosts are neither bodies nor souls, but a 
third entity which he calls eidolon, by which he understands the 
direct self-manifestation and representation o{th^J>syche (soul). 
The soul is restricted to the corporeal exhibition only so long as 
it animates tlie body. Once released, by the death of the latter, it 
can manifest its immanent reality in any way it pleases. It can 
even reproduce whole episodes from its former life, including 
any number of figures of itself or of other persons. It can also 
produce sounds, and perform other material acts." 

We have already seen that Baron Reichenbach, a distinguished 
German chemist, and the discoverer of creosote, finds in what he 
calls od or the odtc force the medium of many phenomena. He 
reports that his sensitive subjects saw, at the poles of the magnet, 
odic light, and felt, from the near contact of large free crystals, 
odic sensations, which by Reichenbach himself, and others as 
insensible as he to odic impressions, were wholly unperceived. 

At first distrustful of the spiritual significance of certain 
phenomena, Reichenbach, if we may believe Mr. D. Hornung, 
of Berlin, now entertains views not opposed to Spiritualism. 
While in London in i86i, at the residence of Mr. Cowper, son- 
in-law of Lord Palmerston, he attended a spiritual circle. 

** On that occasion," says Mr. Hornung, " two media, Mrs. 
Marshall and her niece were present, who did not understand a 
word of German. Reichenbach therefore, after the rapping had 
commenced, put his questions intentionally in German ; and 
they were answered correctly by raps on the table, and he had 
the names of several members of his family correctly given. In 
regard to one name, however, he began to doubt the capacity of 
the table to give it; the name to be spelled being ' Frieder- 
icke,' while it spelled the letters *R. I.* But when the name 
* R I C K E * was completed, the baron was much surprised, as 
his sister had been wont to be called ' Ricke.' 

** Now comes the most remarkable part of the performance, 


and I give it in the baron's own words. He says, * The answers 
were rapped by the foot of the table in a brightly lighted room. 
I wished to ascertain whether the rapping could not be pre- 
vented, and for this purpose I leaned with my breast against one 
of the feet of the table, taking hold of two others with both 
hands, and pressing them down. The rapping of the feet 
ceased ; but the rapping continued above me, on the top of the 
table. All at once, by a sudden jerk, the table dragged me for- 
ward, with the carpet on which it stood ; and I lay prostrate in 
the middle of the room.* 

"This experiment convinced the baron that, besides the 
emanation of the odic element, higher spiritual powers can 
manifest themselves ; and these he now no longer ignores, but 
recognizes them as facts of experience, for which, however, he as 
yet knows no explanation." He regards "the great influences 
of od upon the human spirit " as the mere " physical side of the 
matter," — " the roots by which it adheres firmly to the ground ; " 
and he is thankful to see the day when all his former -discoveries 
show themselves as the portal through which it is possible for 
him " to go forward into the spiritual department." 

A writer in " Human Nature," under the signature of " Ho- 
nestas," is of opinion that the transition brought about by death, 
though carrying with it a vast change, does not so completely 
alter our nature as -to render mundane intercommunication im- 
possible. The laws governing the physical conditions of the 
next sphere must be in harmony with those that rule this, to us, 
natural world ; these laws being only an outgrowth from those 
of our present condition, and correlatives of them. 

Why then is the intercommunication restricted to the limited 
bounds of a medium's presence? The writer aphoristically 
replies. Within our coarser earth-body dwells an ether-body, 
which derives its elementary sustenance from the ether or odic 
element, from out which this visible, ponderable world has 
grown forth, with its plastic, centralizing tendency. Our ether- 
body manifests its presence in the nerve aura, or odic element 
ffirst noticed by Reichenbach), in the streaming forth of a 




mediated, organically centralized ether element, which ele- 
ment sustains this ether-body, — in the same manner as the food 
and earth elements, which the organism assimilates, support 
our bodily condition. A double action is thus carried on in 
the animal organism; namely, a drawing of supply from the 
centralized earth elements, simultaneously with that from the 
primary ether or odic element. In the mesmeric fluid which 
passes from the mesmerizer to his subject, the odic force is 
transmitted ; and a connection is established between the two, 
sufficiently primary to mediate a physical correspondence be- 
tween them. Here is the key to the solution of the problem 
of spiritual manifestations. 

These are divisible into psychical and physical. The psychi- 
cal effects are produced by an action akin to the mesmeric 
action ; that is, the mind of the operating agent, by an action 
of the will, throws a current of the odic power of it« nerve 
aura on to the nerve aura of the terrestrial being, and an effect 
similar to that of the mesmerizer upon his patient results; a 
phenomenon too well known to need explanation. 

The second, or physical effects, arise from an action upon the 
organically mediated free nerve aura of the body of the medium, 
which aura enables the spirit to create an organism or mechan- 
ism, rendering action upon our ponderable matter possible, and 
allowing of the production of the physical phenomena of sound, 
movement of bodies, &c. ; appearances familiar to the observer 
of spiritual manifestations. This centralization can only, how- 
ever, take place by means of the mediating presence of the 
nerve aura, enabling a condensation into ponderable matter to 
be effected. The visible, ponderable world is but a phase in the 
gpreat chain of ever - continuing progress and development. 
The imponderable, and, to us, invisible world, is, in reality, 
the permanent and lasting state, from out which the soul brings 
with it its principle of life, that which is continuous and imper- 
ishable, the power of mediating for its own use the supplying* 
element. It has, too, the power, by right of its earth-born state 
and bodily organism, of mediating the coarser, ponderable ele- 


ments of our present condition. But the terrestrial mediation 
can only be effected by the aid of an organism fitted for that 
special object and use. This mechanism our earth-body fur- 
nishes. The spirit-soul does not, however, possess this : its 
organism is different, finer, undoubtedly more complex than 

By the transition called death, the soul has parted with this, 
for mundane purposes, adapted organism. But to enable a spirit 
to operate upon material things, an organism has to be formed 
adapted for that function : this embodying cannot, however, 
take place unless aided by the mediating presence of the organic 
nerve aura of a living being. In the embryonic evolution, the 
mediating element is the maternal one; and here, too, in obe- 
dience to laws of development, the embryo being, once having 
attained its growth, takes 'its place on earth with an inde- 
pendent central self-existence. The spirit-soul, when incarnat- 
ing itself in a material envelope, can only do so by the aid of the 
nerve aura of a living being, upon which it only momentarily 
acts, which action is rendered possible by the accident of an 
afiinity, enabling a temporary use to be effected, — this use being 
restricted, however, within the narrow limits prescribed by the 
supply which the organism of the medium furnishes; and, 
further, subject to endless interruptions from external causes; 
as, for instance, over -excitement, or alarm, or atmospheric 

The extreme uncertainty of spiritual phenomena; the diffi- 
culty, even when produced, of prolonging their duration beyond 
a few minutes ; and more especially the diflliculty of giving a 
continuity to the more developed forms of spirit appearances, — 
confirms this view of the dependence of visible, tangible, spirit- 
ual manifestations upon our organism, and the necessity of an 
agreement of our natures with the spirit operating upon the 
nerve aura of the medium. 

This writer gives the name of fre-develofmeni to that change 
of organic form of our ether-body taking place during life, and 
by which 'the transition to the next state is mediated, prepared 



This change is always in accord with the sphere we have to join 
after death. And the centre — second centre — is the organism 
thus changed to adapt itself to the onward and next sphere. 
Decay and death follow this change as a necessary sequel; 
that is, as pre-development proceeds, we cast off the organism 
adapted for this life ; it becomes old, not nourished by the sup- 
plying elements that hitherto sustained it. 

According to Leibnitz, every germ has its pre-existence. 
Ever^' grade or plane of development of phenomenal life is the 
outgrowth of a pre-existing state of things, which has prepared 
the elements from which it has been evolved. This is a funda- 
mental law of nature. The grade beneath and the grade above 
are intimately connected with the gradation in which we exist. 
In every grade, the next and superior grade exercises its influ- 
ence, creates, or rather renders the growth possible, of an 
organism adapted for existence in the next sphere, plane, or 

We owe to the law of pre-development continuance of our 
individuality. Were it not for a growth preparatory to the 
entering into a next sphere or state, such grade not being 
mediated, rendered by prior growth fit for our organism, con- 
tinuous life would be impossible. Step by step, mediated by 
prior growth, the soul progresses onward and onward in never- 
ending ascent to the highest conceivable unfoldment of our 
natures. The past is everlasting: the phenomenal life of the 
present is but an unfolding of the past ; and the future, of which 
this state will be the past, will be again only an unfoldment of 
the present. 

Accepting the theory of progressive growth, as proved, the 
writer maintains that the forms of the world beyond this exist- 
ence, must have developed from the forms of the antecedent 
grades out of which they have been evolved, and that preserva- 
tion of the type of the human form follows the soul in its 
onward step into the next world. 

Our next organism is mediated, prepared, by our mundane 
organism ; and, this being so, it must depend in its development 



upon two conditions, physical and psychical ; must carry with 
it, as it passes into the next sphere, the impress of the character 
of its progress on earth. Thus our sins and shortcomings 
impress themselves on our very organism; and the life that 
now is shapes the life that is to be. 

Such is an imperfect sketch of the theory of this ingenious 
writer, who brings to the discussion a full, practical acquaint- 
ance with the most remarkable of the phenomena obtained 
through Mr. Home and other mediums. 

Dr. John Ashburner, the translator of Reichenbach's " Dyna- 
mics of Magnetism," and who was one of the first men in Eng- 
land to investigate and accept the phenomena of 1848, in his 
latest work, entitled " Notes and Studies in the Philosophy of 
Animal Magnetism and Spiritualism," argues that every law in 
the natural or physical world depends on the " grand trunk force 
of universal gravitation," which being divisible into centripetal 
and centrifugal, in other words, attractive and repulsive forces, 
is, as the active principle, traceable through all the changes 
which take place throughout the realm of nature. In the au- 
thor's words, ** All change is necessarily dependent on these 
forces; no chemical compositions or decompositions can take 
place without them; they regulate the great orbs in space, as 
well as the form of the minutest of the primitive crystalline 
globules, of which every crystal in existence is built up." " In 
vegetable existence, it determines a law of evolution when it 
decrees the folding up of embryonic forces in those minute spher- 
ules or germ-cells which develop vegetable crystals ; " and, " pro- 
ceeding with these laws, we observe the law of evolution regu- 
lating more complicated germ-cells in animal existence, but still 
obedient to magnetic laws of polarity; " for " human beings, as 
well as all other animals, vegetables, and minerals, within the 
magnetic sphere of this magnetic earth, must necessarily partake 
of the magnetic influences emanating from the grand trunk force 
of universal gravitation." The author shows that all the phe- 
nomena of the so-called forces of heat, light, and electricity, are 
dependent on attraction and repulsion; and that these simple 



antagonistic forces are the sole principles bj which every change* 
atomic or otherwise, is effected, under Almighty guidance 
throughout the universe. 

The author is a stanch opponent of the materialistic notion 
that brain thinks, and consequently an assertor of the absolute 
inertia of matter, which the Creator has made subject to the at- 
tractive and repulsive principles involved in that which is called 
gravitation or magnetism. Force, therefore, is the life and soul 
of matter, which, controlled and regulated by it, manifests the 
phenomena which are continuously taking place in the form, 
size, weight, and color of objects, from the least unto the 

The condition of sleep and the cause of pain are aitributed 
to the state of the magnetic currents in the animal economy : 
** Sleep is the result of an attractive force, analogous to the at- 
traction of gravitation ; and wakefulness results from a repulsion, 
analogous to the centrifugal agency constituting a part of the 
phenomena attendant on the great trunk force." The facts ad- 
duced in evidence of the truth of this position are highly illus- 
trative ; and the author contends that cases recorded by many 
surgeons justify the conclusion that the molecules of the brain 
being subjected to a central attractive force, is the cause of sleep ; 
as the brain, when exposed, is seen to become smaller in that 
state; and that a repellant action among its particles precede 
the wakeful condition. The cause of pain is summed up in the 
following: "The whole body, being a congeries of magnetic 
molecules, must necessarily be subject to the laws regulating 
polarities. Any change in the relations of the poles of living 
animal molecules must be productive of a change in the sensi- 
bilities of the part. Whether the change be the cause of pleas- 
ure or of pain, must depend upon the faculties of the individual. 
Endowed with a nervous system, the animal is susceptible of 
sensations, without which, the idea of pleasure or pain becomes 
absurd. The inference then remains, that pain is the result of 
an extreme disturbance of the polarities of a part." 

Dr. Ashburner accepts the spiritual hypothesis to the fullest 


extent, and thinks that any other is wholly unsatisfactory in 
view of all the facts and phenomena which he has tested. 

Another theory, not undeserving of mention, is that put forth 
in a work published in London, in 1863, and bearing the follow- 
ing extraordinary title: "Mary Jane; or. Spiritualism Chemi- 
cally Explained." The author's hypothesis, audacious as it may 
appear, is urged with a certain show of scientific learning. He 
gives us the following summary of his conclusions : — 

1. Man is a condensation of gases and elementary vapors. 

2. These vapors are constantly exuding from the skin. 

3. They charge (to use an electrical term) certain things ; viz., 
The sensitive plant, — and it droops. The human body (as in 
mesmerism), — and it becomes insensible to pain. A table, — 

4. When these vapors (which Reichenbach calls odic) emanate 
from certain persons, who appear to have phosphorus in excess 
in the system, they form a positively livings thinkings acting body 
of material vapor, able to move a heavy table, and to carry on a 
conversation, &c. 

5. That the other persons sitting at the table affect the quality 
of the manifestations, although the odic vapors from them are 
not sufficiently strong to move the table, or act intelligently 

6. That we do not see the odic emanations from their fingers, 
has nothing to do with the question ; for we can neither see heat 
nor electricity, — and yet we admit the existence of both from 
their effects. 

7. Thus, if the medium knows nothing of music, and holds a 
guitar, the sounds given out will be discordant, or such as might 
be expected of a person knowing nothing of music; but, if a 
good performer sits at the table at the same time as the medium, 
the sounds will be harmonious. So, if a medium understands 
nothing of drawing, and paper and pencil be put under the table, 
scribbles will be produced; but if an artist sits at the table, 
flowers or other artistic drawings will be produced ; although, in 
neither case, could the artist produce the slightest movement of 
the table, or manifestation whatever, without the medium. 



8. That this odic being thinks and feels exactly as the persons 
from whose body it emanates ; that it possesses all the senses, — 
seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling, and thinking; that 
it makes up for the want of the muscular organs of speech, 
by either an electrical power of rapping, or by guiding the me- 
dium's hand, or by direct writing with pen or pencil. 

9. That its power of sight is electrical; for it can see under a 
domino, or what is in the adjoining room, — in short, where the 
human eye cannot. 

10. That its power of hearing is also electrical or superhu- 

11. That it is highly sensitive to odors, delighting in those of 
flowers, and expressing repugnance to some. 

12. That it can rap in two, and probably more, places simul- 

13. That it can carry on different conversations with different 
individuals at the same time. 

14. That its conversations with different persons will be re- 
sponsive to the affections, the sentiments, and the religious 
belief of each person it is talking with, although they are drawn 
from one common source, — the odic vapor concentrated at, or 
with which the table is charged, — and although those religious 
creeds are entirely at variance. And if asked for the name of 
the (presupposed) spirit, it will give the name either of the de- 
sired relative, or of some high autHority (on religious matters) 
in the specific creed of the person making the inquiry. 

15. That, from various concurrent testimony, it appears fully 
proved that this odic vapor possesses the power of taking the 
shape of hands, arms, dress, &c., and even of an entire person, 
dressed; and, such fact being certain, the statement that in 
America photographs of both dead and living persons have been 
obtained, ceases to be preposterous ; but that the souls of those 
persons produced, or had any thing to do with those shapes, 
does not appear to be any more proved, than that if a good Turk 
received a message signed, " Mahomet," it would be accepted as 
proof, either of the truth of the message, or that the deceased 
Mahomet had any thing to do with it. 



16. That, nevertheless, the high thought, philosophy, inde- 
pendence, conciseness, and deep reflection evinced by many of 
the answers and sentiments expressed by the odic fluid, point to 
its connection with a general tkous^ht-atmosjtkere, as all-pervad- 
ing as electricity, and which possibly is in itself, or is in intimate 
connection with, the principles of causation of the whole uni- 

Such is the bold theory of this chemical investigator. That 
the emanations of the human body " may form themselves, with- 
out our knowing any thing about it, into a distinct personality, 
with the faculties of perception, memory, reason, and conscience, 
— a personality that may rap, write, draw, carry on general con- 
versation, make witty and moral observations, and not only 
think, but * think deeply and profoundly,' and take to itself a 
name (as, in the author's fanciful experience, it took the name 
of * Mary Jane '), and, in short, in every way conduct itself like 
an educated and well-behaved member of society, — is certainly 
an astounding instance of the prodigious capabilities of * odic 
vapor.* It is an hypothesis which, if it does not merely amuse, 
is likely to startle men of science even more than the spiritual 
theory itself; and their surprise is not likely to be diminished 
on learning that the odic vapor is convertible into intellect; 
that the odic emanations actually create life and intelligence; 
and that there is a universal thought- atmosphere, resulting, we 
presume, from the phosphorescent and other chemical emana- 
tions from the collective brain of humanity, from which these 
vaporous personages get the information and ideas which at the 
time they may not in themselves possess. 

"Admitting the extravagant assumption of a being evolved 
from the chemical emanations of our physical substances ; nay, 
more, admitting even that these emanations are imbued with our 
special idiosyncrasies, — with our mental and moral qualities, — 
still, as a derivative being, it could have only the knowledge, 
ideas, and qualities of those from whom it proceeded. That 
cannot come out of a man which is not in him. Hence, as our 
author very consistently says in the words we have quoted: 


'This odic being thinks and feels exactly as the persons from 
whose bodies it emanates.* Of course, if the hypothesis were 
true, it must do so. But then, unfortunately for the hypothesis, 
this * odic being ' will not do as he ought to do. He will some- 
times think and feel differently from the persons from whose 
bodies he is an out-birth. No fact in this inquiry is better known 
or more firmly established than that spirits exhibit powers, and 
maintain opinions surpassing, different from, and sometimes 
even antagonistic to those of both medium and circle. 

" In some instances mediums will give information altogether 
outside the knowledge of themselves, or of any person present,* 
and exhibit a mental force transcending their own natural 
powers, as in others it will be equally below their natural ca- 

"We might pursue our argument from every phase of the 
manifestations: from vision and prevision; from dreams and 
apparitions; from impressions, presentiments, and warnings; 
from clairvoyance and trance; from prediction, possession, and 
personation ; these all demonstrate the same conclusion, — that 
the acting power is no way a part of ourselves, but is wholly 
discreted from us, with independent thought, affection and voli- 
tion. The fact is, that our author confounds conditions and 
causes. Certain conditions are found necessary to certain effects ; 
therefore^ he reasons, they are the efficient cause of them. This 
is just such a mistake as it would be to attribute a telegram to 
the wires, instead of to the operator at the end of them." 

WilHam Hewitt, of whom we may say, as Coleridge said of 
Baxter (another Spiritualist), " I could almost as soon doubt the 
gospel verity as his veracity," in a letter published in 1862, and 

• Professor Hare testified to a message having been sent by a supposed spirit, from 
a circle at Cape May, to one in Philadelphia, and an answer, giving assurance of actual 
communication, having been returned in half an hour. The Rev. J. B. Ferguson, of 
Tennessee, testifies to having heard native Americans, who never knew a word of Ger- 
man, discourse for hours in that tongue in the presence of native Germans, who pro- 
nounced their addresses pure specimens of the power of their language. Facts of the 
same sort without number could be given. 


commenting on the odic theory of the Rev. Mr. Mahan and 
others, writes as follows : — 

" They who ascribe the powers exercised by spiritual agency to 
odic force, betray an equal ignorance of the real properties of 
that force, and of the present status and facts of Spiritualism. 
Search through Reichenbach's essay on this force, and you will 
find no trace of a reasoning power in it. He ascribes no such 
properties to it. He says it throws a flame in the dark, visible 
to sensitive persons, such as the Spiritualists call mediums ; that 
this flame is thrown from magnets of great power, from crystals, 
from the light of the sun, &c. That by passes made with mag- 
nets, or crystals, or by water impregnated with the sun*s rays, 
certain sensations, agreeable or disagreeable, as the power is 
applied, are induced, but not a trace of any reasoning in this 
power, of any revelation of facts, of any pictorial vision, of any 
faculty of prognostication. It cannot tell you what will take 
place to-morrow, much less at the Antipodes, or in the spiritual 
world. But spirits do all this, and more. It does not attract 
iron, or other physical substances, which, as far as iron goes, its 
cognate, magnetism, does. But spirits lift iron, or any other 
body of very great weight, and not in one direction only, but 
carry them about from place to place. Spirits lift heavy tables : 
I have seen dining-tables, capable of accommodating more than 
a dozen people, lifted quite from the ground. Spirits play on all 
musical instruments : they can carry about hand-bells, and ring 
them in the aih as I have seen them. The music which they 
produce is often exquisite. Spirits will draw or write directly 
upon paper laid for them in the middle of the floor, or, indirectly, 
through the hands of people who never took a lesson, and never 
could draw. I am one of them, 

"These are things which are not only going on in England, 
and amongst my own friends every day, but have been going on 
for these forty years; ten years in America, and thirty before 
that in Germany. But, in America, the wide diffusion and 
constant repetition of these phenomena have convinced some 
millions of people, and some of them the first men of scientific 



and legal ability in the country. Those persons have not be- 
lieved on mere hearsay, or mere hocus-pocus and delusion, but 
upon the familiar evidence of facts; and, as I have, observed, 
for thirty years before that, in Germany there existed a consider- 
able body of the most eminent philosophers, poets, and scientific 
men, familiar with most of these things. Amongst these no 
less a man than Emanuel Kant; and also G6rres, Ennemoser, 
Eschenmayer, Werner, Schubert, Jung Stilling, Kerner; and, 
pre-eminent amongst women, Mrs. HaufF*^, the Seeress of Pre- 
vorst, who professed, not merely to have spiritual communica- 
tions, but to see and converse daily with spirits ; and she gave 
continual proofs of it, as any one may see who reads her story. 

" Now it is useless to tell us that the odic force, acting some- 
how mysteriously on the brain, can produce these results. It 
cannot enable people to draw, and write, and play exquisite 
music, who have no such power or knowledge in their brains ; 
for on the old principle ex nihilo nihil fit, no such things being 
in, no such things can come out. It cannot come from other 
brains, for there are often no other brains present. If it could 
do such things, it would be spirit, endowed with volition, skill, 
and knowledge; and there would be an end of the dispute. The 
condition, therefore, of those who ascribe these powers to odic 
force, is that of one ascribing the telegraphic message to the 
wire, and not to the man at the end of it. Odic force may be 
the wire ; for spiritual communications are, and ever have been, 
made through and under certain laws, as all God's works always 
are: but it certainly is not the intelligence at the end of 
it. . . . 

" Whilst the odists and automatists speculate about an action 
on the brain, we cut the matter short, and say, There stand the 
spirits themselves, seen, heard, felt, and conversed with. 

"More than six years ago I began to examine the phenomena 
of Spiritualism. I did not go to paid nor even to public me- 
diums. I sat down at my own table with members of my own 
family, or with friends, persons of high character, and serious 
as myself in the inquiry. I saw tables moved, rocked to and 


fro, and raised repeatedly into the air. ... I heard the raps ; 
sometimes a hundred at once, in every imaginable part of the 
table, in all keys, and of various degrees of loudness. I exam- 
ined the phenomena thoroughly. . . . Silly, but playful, spirits, 
came frequently. ... I heard accordions play wonderful music 
as they were held in one hand, often by a person who could not 
play at all. I heard and saw hand-bells carried about the room 
in the air; put first into one person's hand and then into 
another's; taken away again by a strong pull, though you could 
not see the hand touching them. I saw dining and drawing 
room tables of great weight, not only raised into the air, but 
when placed . in a particular direction, perseveringly remove 
themselves, and place themselves quite differently. I saw other 
tables answer questions as they stood in the air, by moving up 
and down with a marvellous softness. I heard sometimes blows, 
apparently enough to split the table, when no one could have 
struck them without observation ; and I breathed perfumes the 
most delicate. I saw light stream from the fingers of persons 
on the table, or while mesmerizing some one. As for commu- 
nications professedly from spirits, they were of daily occurrence, 
and often wonderful. Our previous theological opinions were 
resisted and condemned, when I and my wife were alone. This, 
therefore, could be no automatic action of our own brains, far 
less of the brains of others, for they were not there. We held 
philosophical Unitarian opinions; but, when thus alone, the 
communications condemned them, and asserted the Divinity 
and Godhead of our Saviour. When we put questions of a 
religious nature to the spirits, they directed us to put all such 
questions to the Divine Spirit alone. ... 

"Many persons that we know, draw, paint, or write under 
spiritual agency, and without any effort or action of their own 
minds whatever, some of them having never learned to draw. 
Several of my family drew and wrote. I wrote a whole volume 
without any action of my own mind, the process being purely 
mechanical on my part. A series of drawings in circles, filled 
up with patterns, every one different from the other, were given 


through my hand, one each evening : the circles were struck off 
as correctly as Giotto or a pair of compasses could have done 
them ; yet they were made simply with a pencil. Artists who 
saw them were astonished, and, as is generally the case in such 
matters, suggested that some ne\V faculty was developed in me ; 
when, lo ! the power was entirely taken away, as if to show that 
it did not belong to fue. The drawings, however, remain ; but I 
coufd not copy one of them in the same way if my life depended 
on it. A member of my family drew very extraordinary and 
beautiful things, often with written explanations, but exactly in 
the same mechanical, involuntary manner. In fact, most of 
these drawings are accompanied by explanations spiritually 
given, showing that every line is full of meaning. 

"I may add that I have never visited paid mediums; but I 
have seen most of the phenomena exhibited through Mr. Home, 
Mr. Squire, and others. / /tave seen spirit-hands moving about ; 
I have felt them again and again. I have seen writing done by 
spirits^ by laying a pencil and paper in the middle of the floor ^ 
and very good sense written too. I have heard things an- 
nounced as about to come to pass ; and they have come to pass, 
though appearing very improbable at the moment. I have seen 
persons very often, in clairvoyant trances, entering into com- 
munication with the dead, of whom they have known nothing, 
and giving those who had known them the most living descrip- 
tion of them, as well as messages from them. . . . 

*' Now it is idle talking of odic force in the face of facts like 
these, which are occurring all over America, and in various 
parts of Europe, and which accord with the attestations of men 
of the highest character in all ages and nations. In Greece, 
Plato, Socrates, Pythagoras, and numbers of others asserted 
this spirit-action; in Rome, India, Egypt, Scandinavia, and 
aboriginal America, as well as in Judea and amongst the most 
eminent Fathers of the Church. The leading minds of every 
age but this have but one voice on the subject. 

"It is the last, vain clutching at shadows to avoid coming to 
the substance, which makes those educated in the anti-spiritual 


theories of the past century, seize so eagerly on the odic force as 
their forlorn hope. It will be torn by advancing truth from 
their grasp. The cry that all is imagination is gone 'already : 
odic force is the present stage, and it must go too. 

" And here I could give you a whole volume of the remark- 
able and even startling revelations made by our own departed 
friends at our own evening table ; those friends coming at wholly 
unexpected times, and bringing messages of the most 'vital 
importance, — carrying them on from period td period, some- 
times at intervals of years, into a perfect history. But these 
things are too sacred for the public eye. All Spiritualists have 
them ; and they are hoarded amongst the treasures which are the 
wealth of the affections, and the links of assurance with the 
world of the hereafter. 

** Now, I ask, what right have we, or has any one, to reject 
the perpetual, uniform, and voluntary assertions of the spirits ; 
to tell them that they lie, and are not spirits, but merely od, or 
some such blind and incompetent force ? Nothing but the hard- 
ness and deadness of that anti-spiritual education, which has 
been growing harder and more unspiritual ever since the Ref- 
ormation, could lead men to such absurdity. Protestantism, to 
destroy faith in Popish miracles, went, as is always the case, too 
far in its re-action, and, not content with levelling the abuses, 
proceeded to annihilate faith in the supernatural altogether." 

The Rev. Charles Beecher, in his able review of the apneu- 
matic theories, says, "That mind, separating itself partially 
from the body, even during this life, should be able to energize 
at a distance, though mysterious, is not incredible. Cicero 
recognizes it. Jamblichus builds on it. It is easy to conceive 
a law by which it should be. But to say that brain can push a 
door open at a distance, project odic spectra, visible and audi- 
ble to distant observers, perform on distant musical instru- 
ments; and, in short, do whatever the person would do, if 
physically present; or that every particle of the body is a minia- 
ture of the whole ; and that these, constantly exhaling, remain 
for years, and coming in contact with sensitive brains, produce 


through my hand, one each eveni: 
as correctly as Giotto or a pair oi 
them; yet they were made simply Wi 
saw them were astonished, and, as 
matters, suggested that some new lu».kM 
when, lo! the power was entirely takc.< 
it did not belong to fftc. The drawin^, 
could not copy one of them in the sam 
on it. A member of my family drew 
beautiful things, often with written ex; 
the same mechanical, involuntary mn. 
these drawings are accompanied by 
given, showing that every line is full r- 

"I may add that I have never visiter! 
have seen most of the phenomena exhibib- 
Mr. Squire, and others. I Aave seen spirit- 
I have felt them again and again. I hav 
spirits^ by laying a pencil and paper in tk^ 
and very good sense written too. I hav 
nounced as about to come to pass ; and the 
though appearing very improbable at the n. 
persons very often, in clairvoyant tranci;:: 
munication with the dead, of whom they \ 
and giving those who had known them the 
tion of them, as well as messages from thei 

" Now it is idle talking of odic force in 
these, which are occurring all over Ame:- 
parts of Europe, and which accord with the 
of the highest character in all ages and n-' 
Plato, Socrates, Pythagoras, and numbers * 
this spirit-action; in Rome, India, Egypt, 
aboriginal America, as well as in Judea and 
eminent Fathers of the Church. The leadi. 
age but this have but one voice on the sub 

'*It is the last, vain clutching at shadows l« 
the substance, which makes those educated iz. 


Take, for example, the instance given by Cicero, as a favorite 
with the Stoics : Two Arcadians stopped at Megara, one at an 
inn, the other at a friend's. At midnight, the former appeared 
to the latter, asking help ; for the innkeeper was about to murder 
him. Roused in affright, the latter thought it a dream, and 
again slept. His friend again appeared, asking him, as he had 
not come to him alive, to avenge him dead, as the innkeepei* 
had now slain him, and concealed his body in a cart under dirt. 
In the morning he met the cart as directed, found the corpse, 
and the innkeeper was executed. 

" Here, if it be admitted," says Mr. Beecher, ** that the soul 
appeared at a distance from the body before death, how can it 
be denied that it did the same after? 

"Furthermore, if the soul do, after death, come in contact 
with the spirit throngs that environ us, how deny that it does 
the same when severed from the body before death ? 

"How resist the firm persuasion of Gilbert Tennent, and 
others, that he did actually converse with spirits ? Why should 
not a sleep, so deep as to be like death, produce in part death's 
results, in introducing the spirit to scenes behind the veil? 

"Is there no weight in the impressive declaration of the 
almost dying Mrs. Hauff^, that while all sorts of ocular illu- 
sions passed before her eyes, yet * was impossible to express 
how entirely different these ocular illusions were to the real dis- 
cerning of spirits ; and she only wished other people were in a 
condition to compare these two kinds of perception with one 
another^ both of which were equally distinct from our ordinary 
perception', and also from that of the second sight. ^ 

"Yet if such converse with the dead be admitted, in even 
one well-authenticated instance, the whole apneumatic argu- 
ment falls. With all the gross consequences, then, of the cere- 
oral hypothesis, it is the only alternative. 

" If, then, such difficulties embarrass the apneumatic hjrpothe- 
sis, why not adopt the pneumatic? It is an admitted principle 
of science, that that theory is preferable which accounts most 
naturally for all the facts known. The pneumatic theory ac- 



counts for all facts alleged by the other theories as well as either 
of them; for some, better; and for many, which they cannot 
account for at all without absurdity. ' 

" One of the facts most relied on by the apneumatic argument 
is the misspelling, which, it is asserted, always follows the 
habit of the medium. Such, however, is not the fact. Cases 
are on record of misspelled communications coming throug^h 
mediums who could spell correctly, much to their chag^n. 
But even if the fact were, as claimed, it might be accounted for, 
either by supposing that illiterate mediums attracted illiterate 
spirits, or by supposing that spirits, in order to communicate, 
are obliged partially to incarnate themselves in the body of the 
medium, and to take on, in part, its organic and mental habits. 

So, also, of the influence of drugs, manipulations, diseases. 
The pneumatic theory is, that as the soul may by these means 
be assisted, or disabled, in the use of its own brain, so disem- 
bodied spirits may, in the use of an invaded brain. When the 
odyllic conditions are by these means prepared, the spirit can 
insinuate itself; when they are by these means destroyed, it is 
compelled to forego its hold ; so in regard to nervous epidemics. 
The theory is, that these may exist without the agency of disem- 
bodied spirits; but that when they exist, developing proper 
odyllic conditions, spirits may be expected to take advantage of 
them. Hence, to find cases of nervous epidemics, where no 
indications of spiritual agency are apparent, proves nothing, 
except that the odyllic conditions were not favorable. 

" While, then, the pneumatic hypothesis accounts for all the 
facts adduced by the other theories, as well as they, it also 
accounts naturally for other facts by which they are embar- 
rassed. It is, therefore, probably the true hypothesis. And 
before rejecting it, let that saying of Isaac Taylor's be well 
pondered, that we ought not to reject the almost universal 
belief of occasional supernatural interference, till we can prove 
an impossibility, * An absolute skepticism on this subject can be 
maintained only by the aid of Hume's oft-repeated sophism, 
that no testimony can establish an alleged fact which is at vari- 


ance with common experience; for it must not be denied that 
some few instances of the sort alluded to rest upon testimony, 
in itself, thoroughly unimpeachable; nor is the import of the 
evidence in these cases at all touched by the now well-under- 
stood doctrine concerning spectral illusions.' 

** Now the apneumatic argument virtually implies an imfossi- 
bility of establishing the reality of spiritual communication by 
any amount of evidence. Suppose a departed spirit, the wife 
of Oberlin,* for example, were permitted to attempt to converse 
with her husband, — not to establish a new revelation, not to 
display divine power, but merely to exercise such potentiality 
as might pertain to a disembodied spirit, for her own and her 
husband's edification and satisfaction. How could she do it, in 
the face of the apneumatic theories under consideration ? She 
speaks to him, moves his furniture, touches his dress, his per- 
son, — all automatic action of some brain en rapport with that 
locality! She sings, plays the guitar or piano, takes a pencil 
and writes, and he sees the pencil in free space tracing his wife's 
autograph, — automatic still I She shows him a cloudy hand ; 
nay, a luminous form, and smiles and speaks as when in life ; 
that is, an optical illusion, or hallucination, or a particle exhaled 
from her body has impinged on his sensitive brain, and created 
a subjective vision. She communicates facts, past, present, and 
future, beyond the scope of his knowledge; that might be clair- 
voyance or cerebral sensing. Alas! then, what could she do 
more? She must retire baffled, and complaining that he had 
become so scientific that all communication with him was 

But if the denial of the pneumatic hypothesis be unphilo- 
sophical, it is no less unscriptural." 

• The philanthropic Oberlin (1735-1806) was a Spiritualist, and claimed to have fre- 
quent interview's with the spirit of his departed wife. When asked how he could dis- 
tinguish his wife's appearance from dreams, he said to his inquirers, " How can you 
d.stnguish one color from another?" He told them that they might as well try to 
persuade h'm it was not a table at which they sat, as that he did not receive these visits 
irom his wife. At the same time, Oberlin was remarkably free from any trace of mys- 
Hcism or fimaticism. He was, in the best sense of the word, a practical man. 



In a review of Faraday's exploded argument against the 
spiritual phenomena, Mr. Isaac Rehn remarks as follows : The 
doctrine of the Correlation and Conservation of Forcep is'based 
on the indestructibility of matter and force, or, as by some 
stated, on the indestructibility of matter and the persistence of 
force. From this it is argued that all forms, however diversi- 
fied, are but the re-appearance of the primitive atoms of elemen- 
tary matter in new shapes ; and, analogous to this, the powers 
of matter are but the re-appearance of the stored forces of the 
universe, as they are translated into heat, electricity, chemical 
affinity, gravity, light, vitality, mechanical force, &c. Accord- 
ing to this theory, wherever mechanical force is expended, the 
given amount of this force must quantitatively appear as some 
other form of force ; it may be heat or light, or both, or in some 
other form of force than either ; but yet, in whatever form or 
forms it may appear, it must be quantitatively the total of the ini- 
tial force, however much it may differ qualitatively from that, 
and can be no more and no less. 

**It is still further urged that the varied forms of matter and 
force, as they affect the transformations in the world, are also 
the efficient and only powers through and by which all vital 
phenomena are produced, these vital phenomena being inter- 
preted in that large sense which includes all intellectual or other 
power, by whatever names called. Now, it is another postulate 
of the doctrine of the correlation of the forces that every form 
of force made to appear, may also be made to appear in any- 
other given form of force. Thus, if heat is made to appear as 
electricity, electricity may, in turn, be made to appear again as 
heat; and so on through the chapter. 

" The point sought to be made against the spiritual theory is, 
that, under the doctrine of the correlation of the forces, vitality, 
or vital force, is the re-appearance of some other form of force. 
According to the law, it may also be made to appear as the ini- 
tial force or forces engaged in its production, and so can have 
no continuity of existence beyond the physical duration of the 
present life ; and we are referred to the fact, as a confirmation 



of this, that, in the retrograde decompositions of the organic 
compounds of high chemical formulae back to the binary states 
of matter, all the forces appear in the putrefactive chemical 
changes of decomposition. And if spirit^ therefore, exists in 
man, it, too, must be but a form of force ; a translation of some 
other force which, in its turn, shall also be translated, and, 
therefore, cease to be as spirit. 

" It presumes all iotcQs physical, and in no state can they ever 
appear in which they may not re-assume the initial form ; that 
is to say, that if all the world, its furniture and people, were, 
and are, the evolutions of transformed nebulae, and the forces 
thereof, then they may, by the law, be nebulae again. 

But to the point : If it be maintained, as it has been by some, 
that ' the forces are indestructible, convertible, imponderable ob^ 
/ects,* it is not yet settled Aow many such forces there are. Or, 
if it be assumed that all forms of force are but the translation of 
one primal force, it is no better settled whether there are not 
permanent residuary forms, not convertible by any knowledge we 
possess, or that all force \&,per se, physical, and that there can be 
no force but such as appears in transformations of matter, or in 
the phenomena of heat, electricity, gravity, &c. These points, 
I say, are not by any means settled ; and, until they are, it is but 
begging the whole argument to declare all spiritual phenomena 
impossible in view of them. 

** The whole argument might, therefore, be rested here, since 
it is the business of those who urge the argument, founded on 
the forces, against us, to show in what way they can demonstrate 
by the ' rigid test of fact and experiment,* that all phenomena 
are resultant experimentally and logically from the physical 

"We simply deny that such demonstration has ever been 
made, or that even the vital force has by any such means been 
made to appear as a translation of the other forces. The most 
that can be said upon this point is, that where vital force exists, 
there the other forces are brought into play, and this nobody 
pretends to deny. We may alto admit that vital force nowhere 



appears in the absence of the others ; and Mr. Faraday, or any- 
body else, is welcome to all the use that can be made of this ad- 

" But who ever heard of consciousness being translated into 
heat, gravity, mechanical force, &c. ? Where are the demonstra- 
tions that the treasury of the memory, with the thousand inci- 
dents which make up the record of our experience, and give us 
the incontestable proof of personal, individual existence is con- 
vertible into electricity or chemical affinity? For, if the doctrine 
of the correlation of forces is to be brought against us, we have 
a right to insist upon the terms upon which its demonstrations 
are had, which are, in brief, that any form of force correlated to 
another form, is susceptible of translation forward and backward, 
at the will of the demonstrator. With heat, electricity, chemical 
affinity, mechanical power, and magnetism, this may be done. 
With the affections, memory, consciousness, intelligence, and 
vitality, it has not been done, and, in all probability, never will • 
be done. Until this latter has been accomplished demonstra- 
tively, our Spiritualism is in no danger of annihilation from 
arguments founded on the correlation of forces, any more than 
from damage by the other futile arguments of the learned Pro- 
fessor Faraday." 

A psychological theory, for which the writer does not claim 
entire originality, but which he states with unexampled clear- 
ness, is that contained in a little volume published by Triibner & 
Co., London (1868), and entitled " Chapters on Man; with the 
Outlines of a Science of Comparative Psychology. By C. Stani- 
land Wake, Fellow of the Anthropological Society of London." 
Though the theory is not based to any extent on the recent sur- 
prising phenomena of Spiritualism, the writer, by a course of 
scientific reasoning, arrives at results not inconsistent with the 
great fact of spirit existence, and which accord with the teach- 
ings of St. Paul, who, it is contended, distinguishes between the 
soul, or psyche, and the spirit, or pneuma, of man. 

According to Mr. Wake, the principle of being on which man*8 
superior mental development depends, is the spirit of reflection. 

MR. wake's psychology. 


or simply, as distinguished from the soul essence, or psycke, the 
spirit, or fneutna. '*It is bj the addition of such a spiritual 
agent we can alone account for the superior phenomena of the 
human mental life. Founded, as those phenomena are, in the 
simple sensational perceptions which the lower animals also 
possess, we see in them the gradual develdpment of a perception 
so different in its objects as to be necessarily due to the activity 
of a superior principle of being. The final result of this per- 
ception is the knowledge of the intuitions of truth, which are 
the very life of the soul essence; a knowledge which requires 
the operation of a spiritual principle existing beyond the soul, 
although intimately connected with it. Having no such exter- 
nal principle of spiritual activity, the lower animals can never 
obtain any knowledge of the soul's intuitions, or of those gen- 
eral truths which are the expression of them in relation to ex- 
ternal nature. 

It is thus that the brute creatures are the mere instruments 
of the soul's activity, operating through the bodily organism ; 
whilst man, having discovered the intuitions which are thus ac- 
tive, realizes them, and makes them instruments for his advance- 
ment in knowledge, and for the subjection of the forces of nature 
to his own purposes. 

** The relation between the soul and spiritual essences, or be- 
tween t\i^ psyche and pneuma, is clearly seen from the nature of 
the spiritual activity, which leads, not to any change of mental 
operations, but merely to the improvement of thought objectiv- 
ity. The soul can of itself perceive only the individual objects 
presented to the eye ; but when joined to the spirit, it takes cog- 
nizance, not only of the ever-varying phenomena of nature, but 
also of the qualities of objects on which the changes in such 
phenomena depend, and even creates those symbols which, as 
objects of thought, give it so increased a range and activity. 
The spirit, having to do only with the object, and not with the 
thought itself, may be classed with the bodily eye, as an instru- 
ment of soul vision, — the one giving perception of the mate- 
rial forma of nature, the other of its spiritual forces ; and in 



this relation, although having a much enlarged objectivity, It 
may be identified with that faculty of reflection which, accord- 
ing to Locke, is a chief source of our ideas. 

" As, however, the soul essence, or psyche, is indebted to it» 
union with the spirit, or pneutna, for all its actual knowledge, 
both of external nature and of its own being, the spirit is entitled 
to claim a higher nature than that of the soul essence to which 
it is joined ; and it must be recognized as the true principle of 
spiritual life, although not the actual source of beinff, 

"That the spiritual life, like the soul activity, has its several 
phases or stages of development, is evident from the phenomena 
observable in the mental life of the child, of the woman, and of 
the man. 

** The child, in its ceaseless inquiries, shows the first unfolding 
of the spiritual perception ; but that perception being as yet im- 
perfect in its operation, the child is limited in its activity to the 
imitation which is the result of simple thought. 

" In the woman, we see the activity of the spiritual principle, 
in combination with that of the soul essence, in an intuitive re- 
cognition of modes of action, without the actual perception of 
the qualities on which their value depends, which is necessary to 
the generalizations of reason. We see here the activity of the 
instinctive soul, vivified by contact with the spiritual principle, 
resulting in that almost intuitive perception of simple relation, 
the possession of which by woman is her peculiar distinction. 

" In man, on the other hand, instinct giving place to reason as 
the stimulating principle of action, the spiritual perception is 
employed in supplying objects of thought for the activity of the 
mind ; the final result being the pure reasoning, which is the pe- 
culiar attribute of man. In genius, we have the crowning glory 
of man's mental development; the intuitive operation of the 
emotional soul essence being so perfectly combined with the 
keen perception of the reflective spirit, that reason itself becomes 
intuitive, and the mind operates by a process of spiritual in- 
stinct." . . . 

As to the questions of moral responsibility and immortality. 


Mr. Wake thinks it cannot be denied that the soul is the re- 
sponsible, immortal portion of man's being. As the emotional, 
thinking, and willing essence, it is the real principle of being, 
and that which performs, through the physical organism, those 
actions to which moral responsibility has relation. But the soul 
is responsible for these actions only because it has a knowledge 
of their nature as being good or evil. This knowledge depends, 
however, on the activity of the spiritual perceptional on which the 
whole special intellectual development of man is founded, and 
of which conscience itself, the test of responsibility, is one of 
the fruits. 

As the lower animals have not the spirit, or pneuma, they can 
have no knowledge of the nature of actions as being in them- 
selves good or evil ; and, therefore, they are not responsible creat- 
ures. The question of brute immortality can receive a similar 
solution. As the soul, or psyehe, is the principle of being, ii 
must be the soul which is immortal. The lower animals, there- 
fore, have within themselves the principle of eternal existence. 
We cannot believe that any substance, either material or spirit- 
ual, can be annihilated; and, therefore, the brute soul, after 
death, must continue to exist. 

By immortality, however, is usually understood eternal exist' 
ence in a state of separate identity. This state does not depend 
on the possession of the soul essence, or psyche, but on that of 
the higher spirit, or pneuma, the activity of which can alone give 
the self-consciousness on which, apart from the bodily organism, 
separate identity is itself dependent. The brute soul, therefore, 
according to Mr. Wake, must exist eternally, but not in a sfpa- 
ra^e state. 

When, however, it is asked, " In what state, then, does the 
animal soul exist after death ? " the only answer which can be 
given is, thai ii must return to the great source of being from 
which the soul first had its origin. As matter is one and eternal, 
although its grosser forms are ever changing, so it is with the 
soul essence, whose phenomenal forms, numberless as those of 
matter, are equally changeful, but which in its substance ever 



continues one and unchangeable. The noble privilege of man, 
however, is to be individualized as a distinct and immortal spir- 
itual existence. 

The tendency of modern scientific thought is to correlate all 
the phenomena of nature as the manifestations of one simple 
energy, of which the inorganic and the organic are but more or 
less complex phases. The professed advocates of the doctrine 
of material development ultimately reduce all things to an eter- 
nally existing and infinitely extended matter, of which force is 
the phenomenal activity. 

" Such would appear to be the conclusion to which the hypoth- 
esis of Mr. Darwin tends. Stated in the words of Professor 
Huxley, it is, * Given the existence of organic matter, its ten- 
dency to transmit properties, and its tendency accordingly to 
vary ; and, lastly, given the conditions of existence by which or- 
ganic matter is surrounded, — these put together are the causes 
of the present and the past conditions of organic nature.' 

"The existence of matter in an organized form is here as- 
sumed; but from Professor Huxley's supposition, that in fifty 
years* time, science will be able * to produce the conditions requi- 
site to the origination of life,' we are justified in considering 
that * organization ' is the accident, while the existence of mat- 
ter in its simple, inorganic form, is the only fundamental re- 
quirement. This is, moreover, confirmed by the assertion of a 
late writer, Mr. David Page, the most recent advocate of the 
development hypothesis, that man, like the animal, springs from 
inorganic elements. 

"If we turn to the positive philosophy, we see that it has the 
same material basis. Mr. Lewes, while affirming that there, is 
no real distinction between vital and psychical phenomena, the 
latter being themselves vital, defines vitality as *the abstract 
designation of certain special properties manifested by matter 
under certain special conditions.' We have here the same funda- 
mental idea as that on which the hypothesis of Mr. Darwin re- 
poses. Mr. Lewes adds, * Life is known only in dependence on 
substance : its activity is accelerated or retarded according to the 



conditions in which the elemental changes of the substance are 
facilitated or impeded ; and it vanishes with the disintegration of 
the substance.' " 

This is the necessary conclusion of materialism. 

It is apparent that if this conclusion were established, it would 
furnish an insuperable objection to the spiritual theory as to 
man's nature, enforced by Mr. Wake. He, therefore, proceeds to 
examine the grounds on which the materialistic argument is 
based. No objection, he contends, can be made to the existence 
of spirit on the ground that it is not capable of direct proof. 
** Positive science allows the existence of matter in so attenuated 
a condition, that it can be known only by the effects of its mo- 
tion, and on the * disintegration of the substance ' which attends 
the destruction of life: the substance itself still, remains, al- 
though it -may take* a form which cannot be recognized. The 
mere * non-perceptibility ' of spirit is, therefore^ no proof of its 
non-existence. But, further, supposing the animal organism 
possesses such a principle of being as this, its real life may con- 
tinue, notwithstanding the disintegration of the bodily sub- 
stance, without its existence being perceived. It is extremely 
probable that the ether can be rendered knowable to us, under 
the conditions of the present life, only by virtue of its action on 
the matter of the earth's atmosphere; and if, therefore, this me- 
dium were removed, there would be no possibility of our guess- 
• ing its existence. In like manner, the disintegration of the 
bodily organism may destroy the only means by which the prin- 
ciple of animal life can reveal itself to us in our present state, 
except, it may be, under certain special conditions, 

" Notwithstanding the fact that there is no primd facie objec- 
tion to the spiritual view of life, the advocates of the material 
hypothesis may still assert that materialism is quite sufficient to 
account for all the phenomena of organic matter, without call- 
ing in the agency of any special principle of being. 

" When, however, we ask what beyond the mere fact of com- 
plexity, which itself requires explanation, determines the pas- 
sage of matter from the inorganic to the vegetable, and from 



thence to the animal form of organization, the positive philoso- 
phy is silent. It does, indeed, declare that there is no ' essential 
distinction between organic and inorganic matter,* nor jret * anjr 
essential (noumenal) separation' between life and mind; but, at 
the same time, it admits that it has no other object of inquiry 
than that of laws. Treating solely of the laws of phenomena, 
it does not concern itself with ^heir cause ; and, so far, there- 
fore, as positivism is concerned, any of those phenomena may 
be due to the activity of an immaterial principle, the presence 
of which may be the cause of the complexity of structure that 
furnishes the special conditions necessary for such phenomena, 
and which can perhaps reveal itself only through matter." 

The Darwinian hypothesis requires consideration, according 
to Mr. Wake, only so far as it affects to derive man, equally with 
both the animal and vegetable kingdoms, from a common and 
single progenitor. As to the former. Professor Huxley says, 
" There cannot be the slightest doubt in the world that the argu- 
ment which applies to the improvement of the horse from an 
earlier stock, or of ape from ape, applies to the improvement of 
man from some simpler and lower stock than man." 

The same argument may be used to explain the origin of the 
animal from the vegetable organism. On examination, how- 
ever, we find that the conclusion cannot be sustained. When it 
is said that "the structural differences which separate man from 
the apes are not greater than those which separate some apes 
from others," we have, independently of the fact that there is no 
evidence of the past or present existence of any such links 
between man and the ape, as there are between ape and ape, a 
statement which is not correct. This may, indeed, be proved 
by Professor Huxley's own admission. He is constrained to 
admit "the width of the gulf in intellectual and moral matters 
which lies between man and the whole of the lower creation," 
although he explains it as the result of " variation in function " 
rather than of variation in structure. 

According to Professor Huxley, it is language which "consti- 
tutes and makes man what he is ; " and this language depends 



on «* the equalit^r of action " of the two nerves which supply the 
muscles of the glottis; a change in the structure of which, 
although imperceptible, might have a result which would be 
" practically infinite." 

But how can a change of structure, which has so marvellous 
a consequence be a slight one? The fact is, that its insignifi- 
cance is merely apparent ; for^ it is associated with a general 
superiority and refinement of nervous structure and sensibility, 
which g^ve a higher form and tone to the human organization, 
being the conditions on which the special action of the nerves 
connected with the muscles of the glottis altogether depend^. 

** It is, however, a fundamental error to ascribe man's supe- 
riority over the animal world to 'language.* The faculty of 
speech is a most important instrument for the education of man's 
mental faculties ; but it is merely an instrument, and one without 
which man would still be vastly superior to the creatures below 
him. How strange that man's civilization — and may we not 
add, his responsibility and immortality? — depend wholly on 
• the equality of action of the two nerves which supply the mus- 
cles of the glottis ' ! Surely, the talking parrot must also have 
a capacity for civilization I 

"The Darwinian hypothesis, which Mr. Herbert Spencer 
accepts as reducible to the * general doctrine of evolution,* gives 
no satisfactory explanation of the origin of the primitive cell ; 
and thus leaves unsolved the chief problem presented by organic 
nature in its several phases. 

** No ground is assignable, consistent with the hypothesis of 
evolution, why the only wide gap in the series should be between 
the highest afe and man. The only explanation which can be 
given by those of its advocates who admit the possession by man 
of * special endowments * — * that nature can produce a new type 
without our being able to see the marks of transition* — is in 
reality fatal to the hypothesis itself, seeing that the exercise of 
such a power bespeaks the operation in nature of some fresh 
principle of vitality. 

But, secondly, it is evident that the minute modifications of 


function and structurei supposed, cannot result in the formation 
of something fundamentally different from that which has been 
thus modified. It has been shown, that it is not the possession 
of speech which constitutes man's superiority over the animal 
world, but the faculty of spiritual perception ; the exercise of 
which underlies both human language and everj other phase 
of culture by which man is distinguished. This is a power 
wholly dissimilar from any the* animal world possesses ; and 
no modification, therefore, of the animal organization could 
evolve it. 

" Reference to * a plan of ascensive development ' will not 
meet the difficulty when 'new and special endowments' are 
admitted ; for, according to the principle laid down by Herbert 
Spencer, that * function is antecedent to structure,' those endow- 
ments can exist only in response to a preceding functional ten- 
dency. This principle, moreover, directly contradicts the 
reasoning of Professor Huxley, that a functional difference 
which is * vastly unfathomable, and truly infinite in its conse- 
quences,' has arisen from a small structural change. The modi- 
fication of the organism must have been preceded by that of the 
function; and as the latter is itself dependent on something 
which the lower animals do not possess, it is absolutely impossi- 
ble that either the function or the structural differences which it 
precedes can have been evolved simply out of an animal organi- 
zation. . . . 

"There must be an antecedent functional tendency, or there 
can be no formation of organic material, much less of a spe- 
cialized organism. The very fact of the existence of organisms, 
so different in their vital phenomena, as the animal and the 
plant, both of which are made up of the same chemical ele- 
ments, proves the existence of two different fundamental tenden- 
cies^ which cannot be explained by any peculiarity of combination 
of those elements, since the function is antecedent to all such 
combination, and directive of the form it shall take. Suppos- 
ing, then, specific organized forms are accompanied by peculiar 
arrangement of their chemical elements, which take the form 

MR. WAKB'S argument. 271 

of * physiological units/ the tendency of the primitive organic 
matter, to take this arrangement, has to be accounted for ; and 
it can be only by its dependence on some still more ultimate 

This ultimate fact Mr. Wake finds in spirit, deity. The phe- 
nomena of life in man are quite distinct from those of either 
organic or mere animal vitality; and, although intimately re- 
lated to, and, it may be, necessarily connected with them, the 
union is one of actual addition, as by superposition of a per- 
fectly fresh and independent faculty. 

" The universe may be described as an infinitely extended and 
eternally existing organism. The possession, however, by man 
of the principles of animal and spiritual life requires the prior 
existence of something analogous in nature to them from which 
these principles can have been derived. There must, in fact, 
according to the reasoning of the materialistic argument, be an 
eternally existing principle of being, from which the soul of the 
animal organism can have had its origin ; and thus must it be 
to enable us to account for the existence of the higher spiritual 
principle which we see in man. 

But, as in phenomenal nature, we see the three discrete de- 
grees of life co-existing in a certain relation, — the lower being 
essential to the existence of the higher, and the higher again 
giving a new direction to the activity of the lower, — we are 
justified in affirming that a similar relation exists between the 
several co-existing, eternal principles of being which thus 
reveal themselves. These three degrees of Absolute Life can- 
not be independent of each other; and, therefore, that Eternal 
and Infinite Existence from which all phenomenal nature has 
been evolved, must, although manifesting his activity through 
a material organism, yet be essentially a spiritual being, as 
possessing, not only the principle of animal vitality, but also 
that of the spiritual life. 

" As, however, nature is an evolution from the Divine Organ- 
ism, — man being the final result of such evolution, — we must 
see in man and nature a representation of God ; who, therefore, 



is not the Unknowable Existence which the hypothesis of evolu- 
tion, as stated by Mr. Herbert Spencer, requires. God cannot 
be unlike that which has sprung from himself, — except only so 
far as he is infinite and perfect, while it is finite, and, as such, 

Moreover, knowing man and nature, we have a concep- 
tion — incomplete, because limited — of God himself; and this 
conception must widen, and therefore become more nearly per- 
fect with every increase of our knowledge. Hand-in-hand, 
therefore, with the development of science, there should be an 
ever-increasing veneration for that Being, the laws of whose 
relative existence science expresses." 

And here, according to the system of Mr. Wake, we have the 
only ground for reconciliation between science and religion. 

The argument which we have thus presented, in an abridged 
form, is worthy the reader's study; and it will, we hope, call 
attention to the book itself, where some omitted links will be 
found supplied. 

As a fitting termination to our review of the principal theories 
which the phenomena have called forth, we quote from the Lron- 
don " Morning-Star and Dial " the following remarks : — 

"The egotism which sets up its own finite comprehension as 
the test of possibility, rejects with scorn every thing alien to its 
experience, or antagonistic to its preconceived ideas. It can 
scarcely be necessary to urge, that such a mode of dealing with 
alleged facts is not only grossly unphilosophical, but would, if 
generally adopted, prove a positive barrier to the elucidation of 
important truths. 

" When a very large number of independent and respectable 
witnesses testify that they have repeatedly seen phenomena won- 
derful in their character, identical in their nature, and occurring 
always under certain fixed conditions, it is obviously our duty to 
sift their efVidence, in order that we may either crush an impos- 
ture, dispel a delusion, or establish a new and, possibly, most 
important truth. 

"This is the position which the controversy with regard to 


Spiritualism has unquestionably assumed. In England and in 
America thousands of men and women esteemed for their pietjr, 
their intellectual ability, and their social worth, aver that they 
have been eye-witnesses, not once, but repeatedly, of very strange 
manifestations, which can scarcely be accounted for by the oper- 
ation of any known natural agency. 

" They tell us that they have seen heavy tables lifted up a foot^Sy 
or more from the gp-ound, and held for some moments suspended \ 
in the air ; men raised from their chairs and floated across the y 
ceiling of the apartment; accordions and guitars, held in the / 
hand, played upon by unseen fingers ; bells carried about a room ( 
and rung at intervals by an invisible power, and passed from hand V 
to hand of the quiescent circle; intelligible sentences written | 
upon slates and slips of paper placed beyond the reach of any V 
present; luminous hands appearing in the air, lifting articles \ 
from the floor and placing them upon the table ; and a host of I 
other marvels, to all appearances equally beyond the grasp of 
ordinary credibility. 

Mr. Coleman, a gentleman whose word would be unhesitat- 
ingly taken on any ordinary matter, tells us of a drawing me- 
dium, who has the power of sketching perfect portraits of de- 
ceased persons whom he never saw, and with regard to whose 
personal appearances he had no means of forming any idea. 
He relates his visit to another medium, to whom he was person- 
ally unknown, who, in answer to his mental question, wrote a 
communication to him from his step-son, sometime deceased, 
signing it with the young man's full name, and adding his own 
residence in London; and he states that he listened to some 
speaking mediums, persons in their ordinary state wholly illiter- 
ate, who, under what was asserted to be spiritual influence, 
spoke in public for more than an hour at a time, with very re* 
markable eloquence and intellectual power. He recounts an 
instance, which he declares was certified to him on excellent au- 
thority, in which a communication was received through a me- 
dium, leading to the discovery of a lost document essential to 
the success of an important lawsuit; and he recites an example 




of an opinion obtained bj the same means, which brought to 
light a new point, and put a stop to a harassing litigation. 

But, putting aside all that he gives on the authoritj of others, 
his narrative of his own personal experience is strange enough 
to satiate the most ravenous appetite for the marvellous. At one 
siauce, for example, at Boston, he states that a guitar was car- 
ried rapidly about the room above the heads of those present, a 
melody being accurately played upon it as it moved through the 
air ; that bells were similarly floated about, ringing all the 
while ; that the medium, in her arm-chair, was lifted on to the 
centre of the table, from which position he himself removed her; 
that his own name was pronounced in a loud voice through a 
horn ; and that, when he complained of the heat of the room, a 
fan was taken from a drawer and waved before him, and a tum- 
bler of water was raised and placed to his lips.* 

All this, no doubt, is passing strange ; and those who have 
never with their own eyes seen any thing of the sort, may be 
well excused for shaking their heads in doubt. It is true that 
the striking singularity of some of the phenomena reported in- 
duces us sometimes to forget that, if we concede the possibility 
of one of them, we may without much difficulty admit that of 
all. Grant that a power exists which can raise a heavy table 
from the ground and hold it suspended in the air, it is clear that 
the same agency may just as easily lift a man from his chair, 
carry a bell, wave a fan, or play upon a guitar. The simple rap- 
ping upon the table, if not fraudulently produced, is intrinsi- 
cally, though not apparently, quite as marvellous as any of the 
most elaborate manifestations. 

. ''But these physical effects are by far the least interesting of 
those which the Spiritualists allege to be of every-day occur- 
rence in their circles. They complain, indeed, that the use of 
the phrases, * Spirit-Rapping,' and * Table-Turning,' has tended 
to give the general public a very low and inadequate idea of 

* These phenomena occurred at one of the sittings at which Miss Lord was the me* 
dium, and to which we introduced Mr. Odeinan, with whom we were present. 


the scope and object of this class of phenomena. According 
to their doctrine, these strange freaks which are played with ma- 
terial objects, are designed solely to arrest attention, and to con- 
vince the skeptical that unseen agencies are present, capable of 
holding communion with mortals; and that, this end having 
been attained, the real purpose of that which they regard as a 
beneficent dispensation, acquires its needful scope and comes 
into full play. This purpose they hold to be the communication 
from departed beings to their surviving relatives, of messages 
of solace, of warning, of encouragement, and of counsel, — con- 
veyed occasionally by audible voices, but much more frequently 
in an alphabetic form. 

"They believe that the ultimate end of these * Spiritual Mani- 
festations ' is the advancement towards moral and religious per- 
fection of the living through the loving ministrations of the 
dead; the proximate end being the counteraction of material- 
istic tendencies by the exhibition of cogent proofs of the reality 
of spiritual existence. 

** If the extraordinary narratives were vouched for only by 
men utterly unknown, or of dubious credibility, they might 
scarcely be deemed worthy of serious attention. Even then we 
could scarcely avoid the reflection that the idea which consti- 
tutes the postulate of the Spiritualists, so far from being novel, 
has had adherents in every age and every nation. The belief in 
the possibility of intercourse betweeen spirits and mortals has 
found a place in almost every religious creed ever held by man ; 
and pagan traditions and biblical records alike bear witness to 
supernatural communion. Nor can we entirely exclude the 
thought that these phenomena, if sufficiently attested to be ac- 
cepted as real, would cast much light on many incidents in past 
secular history, which stand greatly in need of some rational 
elucidation, in place of the wholesale rejection of a mass of evi- 
dence which has hitherto been our desperate expedient. But are 
they so attested ? This is the first point to be settled. The prin- 
cipal witnesses are literary men of note, merchants, lawyers, 
physicians, and divines ; ministers of divers sects, men and wo- 



men of unblemished repute, artists, poets, and statesmen. Of 
minor witnesses, the name is legion ; but we have no personal 
knowledge of their claims to our belief. This much we know, 
that in America, and in our own country, there are many whose 
sanity no one doubts, whose general veracity no one would im- 
peach, who aver that they have seen these strange things with 
their own eyes. It remains for us to say whether we will take 
their word. " 

"If we stamp all those who declare that they have witnessed 
these so-called * Spiritual Manifestations,' as liars, of course the 
inquiry will be at an end. If, on the other hand, we are will- 
ing to believe that, in the narratives which they have given us, 
they have honestly recorded the impressions produced upon their 
eyes and ears, we shall next have to consider to what causes 
these phenomena may fairly be ascribed. Four hypotheses have 
been put forward: fraud, "f'lf-delusion, the operation of some 
hitherto undiscovered natural law, and spiritual agency. The 
idea of fraud, as a general explanation of the manifestations, 
ma}', we think, be fairly discarded. Imposture there may have 
been in cases where money was to be gained ; but seeing that 
many of the most striking manifestations testified to, took place 
in private houses, where no paid medium was present, — this 
being especially true of the intellectual communications purport- 
ing to come from departed relatives, — it is difficult to believe 
that those who formed the circle could have been fools enough 
to practise a deliberate cheat upon themselves for no object 
whatever, to say nothing of the blasphemy against the holiest 
affections, which was involved in simulating a message from a 
deceased parent, wife, or child. 

" It is not easy to understand what invisible mechanism would 
take a man out of his chair, float him round the ceiling, and 
then replace him in his seat; and that must be a very knowing 
apparatus for the production of raps which would spell out to 
an unknown foreigner the name of his step-son, who had been 
some years in the grave. But in purely private circles, — the 
vast majority of those which are held, — fraud is clearly out of 



the question. If self-delusion be the chosen explanation, then 
we ought to have it explained how it happens that the same de- 
lusion operates upon a dozen or more persons at the same time. 
If the operation of an unknown natural law be the solution 
adopted, it must be one law capable of producing all the phe- 
nomena recorded ; for they appear to present themselves in very 
indiscriminate order at various stances, 

" It is a current, but very grave error, to suppose that the most 
startling of these physical manifestations are opposed to known 
natural laws. It is generally said, for example, that the lifting 
of a table from the ground, — one of the commonest of the al- 
leged phenomena, — is opposed to the laws of gravitation. 
Clearly it is not, if an unseen force be applied to it, powerful 
enough to counteract its attraction. An unseen force is no nov- 
elty in nature. Life is unseen, electricity is unseen: heat is 
unseen, until, by igniting matter it gives birth to flame. But 
this force must be one, capable of accounting for all the effects. 
It will not do to say that this phenomenon results from hys- 
teria ; that, from magnetism ; the other, from thought-reading ; 
a fourth, from the od force, whatever that may be. 

"If the spiritual theory be resorted to, a vital point arises. Is 
it a good or an evil agency? The advocates of the Satanic 
theory have this great stumbling-block to get over, that the ad- 
vice given in the messages communicated is said to be univer- 
sally* good, the sentiments moral, and the doctrine piously 
Christian ; and it can scarcely be supposed that the Author of 
Evil would labor for his own discomfiture. There may be a 
mixture of good and evil agencies ; then we ought to discover 
how we are to discriminate between the two. For ourselves, we 
express no opinion on the subject; all we wish is to see the mat- 
ter fairly investigated, with a total absence of that spirit of ridi- 
cule which is always offensive and proves nothing, and which is 
in the present case especially out of place. With the considera- 

* Not tmivenally. We have seen that we must still ity the spirits ; that they are 
as various as mortals in their moral and intellectual traits. 



tion of * Cut bono * we have nothing whatever to do. The first 
question to be solved is, ^Is it true, or is it not?' The second, 
* Whence is it? * If the first be answered in the affirmative, then, 
even should the second remain without reply, we may tranquillj 
leave the rest to the good providence of God." 

" Alas for him who never sees 
The stars shine through his cypress trees I 
Who^ hopeless, lays his dead away. 
Nor looks to see the brealdn]; day 
Across the mournful maibles play ; 
Who hath not learned, in homrs of fiuth. 
The truth to flesh and sense unknown. 
That life is ever lord of death. 
And love can never lose its own I ** 



*' I live ; and this living, conscious being which I am to-day» is a greater wonder to 
me than it is that I should go on and on. How I camt to be astonishes me fiur mora 
than how I should continue to be.** — Rtv. OrvUU Dtwy, 

" I confess the awful mystery of life, and the perplexity which hangs around the ques* 
tion. What it is, and what it all means. Nevertheless, I am persuaded — as per- 
suaded as I can be of any thing^in this world— that the meaning is good and not 
evil, — good, I trust, to the individual as well as to the whole. There is a wondrous 
alchemy in time and the power of God to transmute our faults, errors, sorrows -^nay« 
our sins themselves — into golden blessmgs.*' — Rev. F. W, Robertson, 

TF we accept the fact that physical death does not affect the 
identity of the individual, it will be a necessary inference, 
that there are as many intellectual ancf moral differences among 
spirits as among mortal men. In the spirit-world as well as in 
this, at each step of our progress, we can only take in the 
amount of truth we are organically fitted to receive and assimi- 
late. There, as well as here, the saying of Locke holds good : 
So mudi only as we ourselves consider and comprehend of 
truth,' so much only do we possess of real and true knowl- 
edge. The floating of other meiv's opinions in our brains 
makes us not one jot the more knowing, though they happen to 
be true. Hi^e fairy money, they turn to dust when they come 
to be used." 

Our emancipation from this material husk does not alter 
those essentials of character which we have been born to here, 
or which we have failed to modify in the series of existences 
through which we may have passed. The moulding of our 


individuality must be our own work, mysterious as this maj 

Beyond the mere fact, therefore, that spirits live and act (and 
what greater fact could we ask?), the teachings of spirits are 
to be received just as we receive those of fallible mortals, and 
to be subjected to the test of our own spiritual and rational 
powers. Pressed on by influences from all sides, we are yet to 
accept or reject them, according to the light which conscience 
may shed* 

In regard to the vulgar notion that a spirit, on quitting his 
mundane tenement of flesh, parts with his identity, and attains 
at once to high spiritual knowledge and power, M. Jobard, of 
Brussels, remarks, ''As well might a highway robber be looked 
upon as an honest man as soon as he is out of prison ; or a 
madman, after clearing the walls of an asylum, be regarded as 
a sage ! There is as much difference between spirits as between 
men. Every one takes with him into the next state of life his 
character and his moral and scientific acquirements. Fools 
here are fools there. Rogues, sensualists, tyrants, suffer from 
being deprived of their selfish stimuli. Hence we are instructed 
by the Holy Spirit to hold in low esteem those goods of earth, 
which we cannot assimilate to ourselves, nor take with us ; but 
to attend rather to spiritual and moral goods, which do follow 
us, and which will serve eternally not only to delightfully 
occupy us, but as steps by which we shall rise higher and 
higher, on the great Jacob's ladder, into the boundless hierarchy 
of spirits." 

It has been truly said, that the tendency of Spiritualism is to 
lift the phenomena of spiritual life out of the category of excep- 
tional events into the region of divine law and order; and thus 
to promote our spiritual emancipation and development. By 
the light of this infant, or rather adolescent science, we now see 
clearly, that ike truth of a doctrine cannot be proved by a so- 
called miracle. The meaning and worth of " a miracle " — i,e, the 
intervention of some intelligent, unseen agency — must rather 
be tested by the effect which it is calculated to produce upon the 



mind and heart ; and this again can only be estimated by the 
devout and cultivated reason. The study of spiritual phe- 
nomena thus elevates the mind above a servile submission 
to mere dogmatic authority as well as above an ignorant resig- 
nation of its rights and faculties before a mere " sign and 

"This emancipating tendency of the new science," says an 
English writer, **is quite sufficient to account for the opposition 
it has encountered at the hands of the religious world ; while 
the innovating and revolutionary character of spiritual teach- 
ing induces a large section of the irreligious world to regard it 
with distrust and uneasiness. The weak and timid, and there- 
fore false and unjust, conservatism of aristQcratic England 
dreads each vfeth of free thought which tends to quicken the 
seeds of regeHcration sleeping within her "bosom. It makes 
many people uncomfortable to see old landmarks in religion, 
morals, or metaphysict- . threatened with annihilation. They 
xvfgimt^ the whole matl|iry.Jttuch as the respectable country 
ge&tlemen in England fffty'ji^s ago regarded Methodism. If 
a 'man turned Methodist, it*M8 equivalent to his becoming a 
■■■■Lj^Mttsptwineri^ social <MflBM sind time-honored 
^^^^^^H^Ht!^. Th6 ease is "^HIHf ^^^^ to-day; and, 
^^^^^^^^Bttitict df setf-preservati9n^ne man of mere mate- 
^IP^HH^HimEi and hebdomadal religion, if he has any at all, 
i^^efglHiSoE Spiritualism a disturber of his peace. This impor- 
tunate proi&iity of uni-ren realities calls for a re-adjustment of 
» his ttagnaut ideas ; and it makes him tremble for the safety of the 
\ 'reserved fieAt,' to which he looked forward in the other world, 

and ako of hk reputtttfon as an intellectual aristocrat in this. 
I "Such A fear \% by no means a groundless one; for who can 
measiirfe the Snfliience which this despised Spiritualism is exer- 
dfting ^ a £co«e j;»f wttffi-out ologies and ismsf Its negative 
efTacts thos^^j^it d^ious at present. It is a great truth, 
%htch tiot y^^^mi a dress for itself, or elaborated appro- 
ttrganiEstions as outward and visible signs of its inward 
and spiritual grace. It VjH^iES about in rags and tatters, and 



often in most disreputable company ; so that some moral courage 
is required even to acknowledge acquaintance^ muck more to asso' 
date vtith this truths in the public roads of life. 

" We confess that we perfectly understand the aversion -with 
which many earnest minds have been led to regard this subject. 
* So far,' it is said, * from these investigations having an elevat- 
ing or emancipating effect upon the mind, so-called spiritual 
manifestations generally appeal to the lowest mental faculties, 
while pandering to idle curiosity and a thirst for sensational 
exhibitions.' There is much truth in this. And it is not enough 
to make the specious and oft-repeated reply to such taunts, that 
an evil an^ ^^ciuflerous, or sense-bound generation needs a sign ; 
and thaCi^iie fittest for them are dancing-tables, I^ot-tying, and 
..4P»lant WUmpets in dark closets, &c. A cultiva|B|inin(^CANNOT 
look upon such things except as most disordenPKnd undivine ; 
although they may have a spiritual origin, and, having such» 
worthy the close examination of all wha would ateqiuunt them^^| 
selves with the grounds of a sp^dNHi^^^^^- «f 

"The higher manifestations jdp^lmdem Spiritualism are not 
so obnoxious to contemptuous ^f^illicifm. . . . But thc.'^e and a 
hundred other objei 
the fact, that Spirii 
ence on civilization 

of spiritual laws. Even supposing ati iAese vari\ 
tions to be disorderly and vicious, wMek. I ^o not 
believe, their illustrative value would be none d^^B#. «|fow 
much would the world know of physiology or theHl^f healtii, . 
if disease had not first necessitated the study of patholog^y ?*' m 

The motto on the cover of that excellent publication, the 
"London Spiritual Magazine," fairly eKp] L:>se^ thnt can be 
consistently claimed as comprehended hy modern Spiritualism. 
For individual idiosyncrasies and sjioculations, whether of ^ 
spirits or of earthly residents. Spiritualism is n9 i'ujA^ ^^sp^lk^A 
sible than collective humanity is responsible for tii^£^gariett||^^|^ 
a drunken man or a lunatic. The following is the motto re- 
ferred to: — 

ontemptuous't^lipcifm. . . . But thc.'^e and a i 
ectiM^^hether va]^4 or not^ do not disprove M 
itS^PHps exerciuri|^ a most beneficial m£u«7 
n, ijjiWading to tht diftcovery of iUustr^tUut 


Spiritualism is based on the cardinal fact of spirit com- 
munion and influx : it is the effort to discover all truth relating 
to man's spiritual nature, capacities, relations, duties, welfare, 
and destiny ; and its application to a regenerate life. It recog- 
nizes a continuous divine inspiration in man : it aims through a 
careful, reverent studj of facts, at a knowledge of the laws and 
principles which govern the occult forces of the universe ; of 
the relations of spirit to matter, and of man to God and the 
spiritual world. It is thus catholic and progressive, leading 
to true religion as at one with the highest philosophy." 

Expanding these views, the same magazine i«marks : Spirit- 
ualism is a science based solely on facts : it is neither specula- 
ttf^llAf^l&TicirLi]. On facts and facts alone, open to the whole 
TOr!d ifrough an extensive and probably unlimited system of 
inediumship, \l buildi^ up a substantial psychology on the ground 
ictest logical induction. Its cardinal truth, imperishably 
ished on the experiments and experiences of millions of. 
,en and women, flttH||pun tries and creeds, is that of a 
of spirits, and tfl|HHbiuity of the existence of indi- 
^al spirit thtoufh the IpHentary eclipse of death ^ as it 
e«fth fMtppearing ^fMjj^ spiritual world, and 
InhmllltiMt amid the ^^^H^menting population 
Along w^^WRs primal truth comes 
ion of the ancient truths of Deity, revelation from 
arid the open communion of man in the body 
'wifh maa di^en^bndied ; with *that great multitude which no 
£in curt number, of all nations and kindreds and people and 
ingue*i which -.urntl r>i Tore the throne.* 
That is the aud substance of Spiritualism: it is the 

expiinent and practical demonstrator of continuous spiritual 
belnf^i Whatever truths independent of this assert themselves, 
same substantial evidences, and must show 
Iprjmd central truth by their perfect har- 

The gen »iacter of the higher spiritual communications 

of the preset., ^y is the jJ^^^a of dogmatic teaching, and the 

must da TO *ai^ 


assertion that it is only as we advance in virtue and in the 
deeper paths of knowledge that we can attain to further light 
in the science of things divine. 

Whenever friend or foe, therefore, undertakes to commend or 
denounce any notion, good or bad, by the introductory claim 
that "Spiritualism teaches," &c., we may be pretty sure that 
the phrase ought to be so amended as to read, " A certain spirit 
teaches," &c. 

If you ask why error and evil are allowed by Providence to 
exist in the spirit-world, you might, with equal propriety, ask 
why they are allowed to exist in this. We cannot reply better 
than in the words of WoUaston (1724), who says, "To ask why 
God permits evil, is to ask why he permits a material world, or 
such a being as man is ; endowed, indeed, wtlli ^Ht iidUe faeut* 
ties, but incumbered at the same time with boffly pass 30ns and 

opensities. Nay: I know not whether it be not to a!?k why 
permits any imperfect being; and that is^ any bcinj^ at all ; 

ilich is a bold demand, and th^^luifwer to it lies perhaps too 
deep for us." ^ 

To -ask why evil exists, may, tii Kgher ]ntelllgeacc&, bej 
as irrational as it wMlB^ to as|^ uli^ # tdmg 

These remarks wiirfmuTer it sup^vba^iml 
refer further to that fighting witii windttiilts 
writers for both the religious and th« secular pr^ 
when they insist on charging any eitf|iTil||iint ^ 
upon the "teachings of Spiritualism.' 

"Spirit communications," says Mr. W. F. Jn^mieson, 
take more or less of the idiosyncrasies of the mediums {kr 
whom they are received. On the part of iTiteliigent spirits, 
there is no claim to infallibility. They teach people to accept 
nothing without adequate proof. Seven- te^iis of the alleged 
spiritual phenomena may be of mun4aQe^k||^th^gh not 
impostures. But one incontrovertible fiict ^^^^^^hE^^^^^^^ 
and communion as positively as a millioii i 
since I witnessed phenomena Jiiiilp^ ct^P 




eluded imposition or trick of any kind. There maj be ten 
thousand counterfeits, but they do not shake my confidence in 
that which is genuine." 

Judge Carter, of Cincinnati, complains of the deceptive 
character of many of the communications. "I cannot," he 
writes, "now point to a single medium — and I have known 
many — and say that he or she is perfectly reliable." 

To which we might reply, perfect reliability implies perfect 
infallibility I and the judge must seek for that, not among me- 
diums, or spirits, or angels, or archangels, but of Omniscience 

The " committee on spiritual phenomena," who met at Cleve- 
land, O., in 1867, report that " what at present passes for spirit 
communion among the people, is a mixed, and, for the most 
part, unanalyzed mass, rendering the identity of spirit presence 
very uncertain." And they add, " Many, if not all, of the disor- 
derly manifestations, your committee deem wholly unspiritual, 
having their origin in half-controlled, diseased nerves, poor 
digestion, torpid liver, and general discord of mind and body." 
And they conclude, " We cannot suppose that a majority of the 
phenomena under consideration are projected and directed by 
spirits ; but rather that while there is abundant evidence, direct 
and collateral, of spirit control, other causes enter largely into 
their prodttction." 

All which we can readily admit, and infer that it merely 
shows that we ought to discriminate between phenomena that 
may be explained by abnormal nervous action, and those which 
must be referred to some other cause ; thpt would seem to be 
not intended by the Author of our nature that we should sur- 
render our individual reason to any authority, human or spirit- 
ual ; that we should try the spirits, for they are a very mixed 
set, just like human beings ; and that any implicit belief in the 
infallibility of spirit communications is likely to lead to a mental 
re-action quite as far from the truth as its opposite extreme. 
Perhaps the tlieory, held by certain Spiritualists, that there are 
no evil spirits^ .m%y have done something to color portions of 



the report of the Cleveland committee ; and perhaps they have 
not yet fought their way out of the wilderness into a light 
which may one day be theirs. Their sweeping and indiscrimi- 
nate condemnation of the dark-circle " manifestations, and 
their loose, unqualified assertion, that darkness is a condition 
assumed and insisted upon by tricksters," are so contrary to the 
experience of many investigators who have had as ample oppor- 
tunities as they can have had to satisfy themselves on the sub- 
ject, that their report does not carry the weight it deser\*es for 
much in it that is true. It is signed by F. L. Wadsworth, J. S. 
Loveland, E. C. Clark, and M. B. Dyott. 

There is certainly nothing in the nature of the facts attested 
by Spiritualists (and by many who admit the facts without the 
hypothesis) to render it difficult to form a correct judgment as 
to the reality of occurrences whether in light or dark circles. 
Take the following instance quoted by Mr. Shorter : A distin- 
guished London physician and physiologist, Dr. Wilkinson, in 
an account of a siance he attended, mentions among other phe- 
nomena witnessed by him, that a hand-bell, which had been 
brought by one of the party, was rung by an invisible agency ; 
at the same time as it moved towards himself, he says, **I 
moved my fingers up its side to grasp it. When I came to the 
handle, I slid my fingers on rapidly ; and now, every hand but 
, 'my own being on the table, I distinctly felt the fingers, up to the 
palm, of a hand holding the bell. It was a soft, warm, fleshy, 
radiant, substantial hand, such as I should be glad to feel at the 
extremity of the friendship of my best friends. But I had no 
sooner grasped it mmentarily, than it melted away, leaving 
me void, with the bell in my hand. I now held the bell tightly, 
with the clapper downwards ; and while it remained perfectly 
still, I could pla^inly feel fingers ringing it by the clapper. As a 
point of observation, I will remark, that I should feel no more 
difficulty in swearing that the member I felt was a human hand 
of extraordinary life, and not Mr. Home's foot, than that the 
nose of the Apollo Belvidere is not a horse's ear. I dwell 
chiefly, because I can speak surely, on what happened to myself. 


though everj one round the table had somewhat similar expe- 
riences. The bell was carried under the table to each, and 
rung in the hand of each. . . . They all felt the hand or hands, 
either upon their knees or other portions of their limbs. I put 
my hand down as previously, and was regularly stroked on the 
back of it by a soft, palpable hand as before. Nay : I distinctly 
felt the whole arm against mine, and once grasped the hand ; 
but it melted, as on the first occasion. . . . While this was going 
on, and for about ten minutes, more or less, my wife felt the 
sleeves of her dress pulled frequently ; and, as she was sitting 
with her finger-ends clasped and hands open, with palms semi- 
prone upon the table, she suddenly laughed involuntarily, and 
said, * Oh ! see, there is a little hand lying between mine *, and 
now a larger hand has come beside it. The little hand is 
smaller than any baby's, and exquisitely perfect.'" 

At a subsequent stance at Mr. Rymer's house, at Ealing, he 
describes a similar experience. The hand on this occasion pur- 
ported (in a communication made) to be that of a deceased and 
intimate friend, '^once a member of Parliament, and as much 
before the public as any man in his generation." — "I said," 
continues the narrator, " * If it is really you, will you shake hands 
with me?' and I put my hand under the table; and now the 
same soft and capacious hand was placed in mine, and gave it a 
cordial shaking. I could not help exclaiming, *This hand is 
a portrait. I know it from five years' constant intercourse^ 
and from the daily grasp and holding of the last several 
months.*" Others who were present at these siances — Mr. Ry- 
mer, Mr. Coleman, and Mrs. Trolloptfflb particular — have 
corroborated the testimony of this writer. 

Commenting upon this testimony, Mr. Shorter remarks: 
** Whatever weight may justly attach to the testimony of men 
of known ability and attainments, any man of ordinai^r intelli- 
gence and powers of observation is generally able to judge, in 
an almost equal degree, of what Chalmers calls * plain palpable 
facts ' under his own observation. Any man, for instance, who 
can ' tell a hawk from a hand-saw,' can tell whether a table is 



resting on the floor, or is raised abore it; whether a man is sit- 
ting in his chair, or is floating in the atmosphere ol* tlie room; 
whether sounds made bj no risible agencj, and which respond 
to his questions, mental or otherwise, are heard or not ; whether 
a strong, heavy table, is, at his request, broken in firag^ents bj 
no risible agencj, *■ in about half a minute,' or whether it re- 
mains whole. These things, and such as these, which rest on 
'seeing and feeling and experimenting,' are so plain and palpa- 
ble that the man who could not judge of their reality might 
conscientious! J saj with Dogberry, * write me down an ass.' It 
is very easy to pronounce these things impossible ; to say that 
they cannot be. But that which does happen ca» happen ; and 
to tell people that an educated judgment would convince them 
that they did not see what they saw, and did not feel what they 
felt, can only furnish an illustration of that particular species 
of rhetoric called &osJk. We are disciples of the Baconian phil- 
osophy, and cannot subscribe to that reasoning which denies 
facts when they do not square with our pre-judgments and ac- 
commodate themselves to our favorite theories." 

Very frivolous and pointless are such objections as the follow- 
ing, brought by a critical American journal, called the "Na- 
tion," against the phenomena so pregnant with meaning to 
millions of investigators : — 

** If the wonders of Spiritualism," says this authority, ** are 
perfectly real, they are just as perfectly worthless. They prove 
nothing but the powerlessness of those who execute them^ 
whether they be spirits or mortals." 

" They move chaii|5^&c. ; but it is nowhere asserted that the 
mediums move furniture half as well as day-laborers and por- 

** They are unable to tell any particular person what he did 
not kno^ir already." 

This last objection has been so often disproved, and the narra- 
tives of this volume confute it so repeatedly, that we need not 
occupy any more space in considering it. Our own experience, 
given on page iia of this volume, will serve as our answer. 



With regard to the other objections, which are mere repeti- 
tions of those brought by unreflecting persons ever since the 
phenomena of 1848 were promulgated, a few considerations will 
show how much weight they carry. 

Why, if these wonders, even though " real," are " worthless," 
have Faraday, Brewster, Babinet, the Cambridge professors, and 
many other eminent men of science, been so anxious to prove 
that they are not real ? 

If a phenomenon be worthless in itself, will it have no value 
if it carry evidence that it is the work of a spirit ? 

Yet the affirmative of this last question is the wholly heedless 
and irrational position taken by this editor. Every person of 
common sense will see its absurdity. 

As for the objection that the mediums, or rather the forces 
operating in their presence, though they may move furniture, 
" cannot do it as well as day-laborers and porters," this would 
seem to be a very blind attempt at jocoseness, since the whole 
interest claimed for the mpvements referred to, lies in the in- 
quiry, by what power are they done, not how skilfully are they 

And yet objections thus slight and trivial are fair specimens 
of the kind of opposition which Spiritualism has encountered. 
Is it surprising that it has spread and grown as rapidly as it 

The attempts to make Spiritualism responsible for the heresies 
and vagaries of certain persons calling themselves Spiritualists, 
are manifestly unjust. Accusations are often brought that Spir- 
itualism teaches free love, pantheism, socialism, &c. As well 
say that the Newtonian philosophy teaches these things I Spir- 
itualism is no more responsible for nominal Spiritualists, than 
Christianity is for nominal Christians, among which Ij^st may 
be counted free-love Anabaptists, Mormons, and the brigands 
of Italy. 

Pythonism " is the bad name which the " ministers of the 
Massachusetts Association of the New Jerusalem " (followers of 
Swedenborg) give to modern Spiritualism; the name being 




deriTed, thej tell us, from the Pytkon, the mjthological serpent, 
sprung from the mud after Deucalion's deluge, and which Apollo 
alone was able to destroy. ** Hence the priestess of Apollo, at 
Delphi, was called a Pythoness." ** Who cannot, in this mytho- 
logical tradition,*' say the ministers, ** see the serpent, engend- 
ered by the very lowest things of humanity," — Spiritualism, of 
course, being the chief of these ** lowest things." 

By ordinary persons, the supposed communications from the 
spirit-world will, we think, in this nineteenth century, be re- 
ceived as we receive communications through books, newspapers, 
and even weekly critical journals. Various and sometimes con- 
flicting as these communications are, they merely show that 
spirits, like mortals, are very fallible, and often very conceited 
individuals, many of them it may be, groping in a moral and 
intellectual darkness denser than that which encompasses many 
souls yet fettered by the flesh. Spiritualism is merely an affir- 
mation of the great fact of spiritual existence. It leaves us just 
where all codes and all revelations take us up ; for the authority 
of a message, come whence it may, lies always in the complete- 
ness of its harmony, with the laws of our being as disclosed by 
the highest experiences of individuals and of the race. 

Nor is Spiritualism any thing new, though never before in 
human history have men been so educated and prepared to re- 
ceive its phenomena in a scientific spirit, and never before has 
priestcraft been so impotent to dictate terms, or to put its own 
convenient construction on facts appealing so directly to the 
common sense of mankind. 

** The idea of the existence of spirits,'* says one of our French 
collaborators (Edward de Las Graves), "and of their interven- 
tion in human affairs, may be traced back to the most remote 
epochs of antiquity. We find it in all the philosophies : it forms 
the basis of all the religious systems of the ancients, and the 
Biblical narratives are full of it. The Greeks, the Romans, the 
Egyptians, the Druids, the Indians, and the Chinese had th^ir 
oracles which they consulted. The Middle Ages could not bury 
the idea in the funeral piles which devoured their sorcerers and 



their witches. It has come down even to our own times, braving 
all persecutions, surviving all the revolutions, physical and 
moral, of humanity. 

Beyond a doubt this idea, imperishable because it is true, 
has often been associated with a thousand absurdities. Cupidity 
and the lust of domination have often made of it a powerful 
weapon, and have not feared even to disfigure, and pervert, and 
play false with it in order to subject it to their caprices, their am- 
bitions, or their needs. But the time has come at length when 
the truth is destined to rise and glitter in all its splendor, chas- 
ing pitilessly the errors which ignorance and superstition have 
heaped up during the centuries." 

All speech is spiritual. All communications addressed to our 
moral or intellectual faculties are of spiritual origin, whether 
they come from spirits incarnate or disincarnate. 

Dr. William B. Potter, author of a pamphlet on the subject of 
modern Spiritualism, says of the communications which he 
himself has heard through mediums, that " endless contradic- 
tions and absurdities are mixed up with the most exalted truths, 
and the most profound philosophies. We are taught that God is 
a person, that he is impersonal ; that he is omnipotent, that he 
is governed by nature's laws; that every thing is God, there is 
no God, that we are gods. We are taught that the soul is eter- 
nal ; that it commences its existence at conception, at birth, at 
maturity, at old age. That all are immortal, that some are im- 
mortal, that none are immortal. That the soul is a winged 
monad in the centre of the brain ; that it ge.ts tired, and goes 
down into the stomach to rest; that it is material, that it is im- 
material; that it is unchangeable; that it changes like the 
body, that it dies with the body, that it develops the body, that 
it is developed by the body, that it is human in form ; that it is 
in but one place at a time, that it is in all plftces at the same 

** We are taught that the spirit-world is on earth, — just above 
the air, — beyond the milky-way. That it has but one sphere, 
three spheres, six spheres, seven spheres, thirty-six spheres, an 



infinite number of spheres. That it is a real, tangible world; 
that it is all a creation of the mind of the' beholder, and appears 
different to different spirits. That it is inhabited by animals, 
birds, &c. ; that they do not inhabit it. That it is a sea of ether ; 
that it is a plain, that it has mountains, lakes, and valleys ; that 
it is a belt around the earth. We are taught that spirits eat 
food, — live by absorption ; live on magnetism, thoughts, love. 
That they control media by will-power, by magnetism, by enter- 
ing media, by st'anding by their side, by an influence beyond our 
atmosphere, by permission of the Lord. 

"That spirits converse by thought-reading, by oral language. 
That their music is harmony of soul ; that it is instrumental and 
vocal. That they live single ; in groups of nine. That they 
marry without having offspring; that they have offspring by 
mortals; that they have offspring by each other. That their 
marriage is temporary; that it is eternal. That spirits never 
live again in the flesh; that they do return, and enter infant 
bodies, and live many lives in the flesh. That some are born 
first in the spheres, and afterwards are born on earth in the flesh. 
That the true affinity is born in the spirit-world at the same 
time that the counterpart is born on earth. That all spirits are 
good, that some are bad ; that all progress, that some progress, 
that none progress. . . . 

" That there is no high, no low, no good, no bad. That mur- 
der is right, lying is right, slavery is right, adultery is right. 
That whatever is, is right. That nothing we can know can in- 
jure the soul, or retard its progress. That it is wrong to blame 
any; that none should be punished; that man is a machine, and 
not to blame for his conduct. . . . That the spirit of the tree 
exists in perfect form after the tree is burnt. That monads are 
God's thoughts, and go through all forms of rocks, trees, ani- 
mals, and at last become men. That spirit is substance, in ab- 
solute condensation ; that matter is substance, whose particles 
never touch." 

The reply to statements like these has been well made by Mr. 
A. E. Newton, who writes as follows: "To our view, the evi- 


dence of the basis-fact of modern Spiritualism — namely, • the 
intelligent communication of spirits with minds in the flesh* — 
does not depend at all upon either the truthfulness or the agree- 
ment of their statements about any subject. Even should all 
who communicate, agree in denying that there is a spiritual 
world, or that any spirits exist at all, that denial would be no 
proof of such non-existence ; on the contrary, it would be a very 
strong corroborative evidence in favor of spirit existence, for 
such testimony could not be supposed to originate in the minds 
of the mediums. The testimony itself must come from mind, and 
that mind must have existence. If not from the mind of the 
medium, or any one in the body acting through the medium, 
then it must be from a disembodied mind. The Cretans were 
once declared to be * always liars ; * and yet nobody doubts that 
the Cretans had existence, even though they themselves might 
affirm or deny the fact. The proof of communication from the 
sfirit-world depends on the evidence of mental action aside from 
and beyond that of the medium, or any mind in the flesh, and not 
on the agreement, wisdom, or good sense manifested in such 

**But contradictions, even as to matters of fact, are often 
merely apparent, rather than real, arising from mutual misun- 
derstandings as to the meaning of terms, and from too narrow 
and unphilosophical views of things. 

"We would remind all who are perplexed with the statements 
of spirits in respect to the spirit-world, that it is doubtless vastly 
more extensive than earth, and hence may present a far greater 
variety of objective realities, and of modes of life and thought, 
than pertains to the earth-life. And, furthermore, since the 
spirit-world is the world of causes, each external object must be 
to the beholder just what his perceptions make it; that is, it 
appears according to his power of insight as to its uses and rela- 
tions. Hence the same object may appear as one thing to one 
person, and as quite another thing to a person diflferently un- 

" This principle is exhibited to some extent in this rudimental 



sphere. For example, we have known two persons to attend 
the same concert of instrumental music, — one having little or 
no musical culture, the other possessing a very exquisite ear. 
To the first, some of the finest compositions were for the most 
part a mere jargon of inharmonious sounds which pained and 
tired the ear ; while the other was by these same sounds trans- 
ported to the seventh heaven of rapturous delight. 

"So of objedts seen : to the child or the uncultivated clown, 
that most gorgeous of spectacles, the evening sky, is a solid dome 
of comparatively limited dimensions, in which are hung up a 
multitude of little lamps for man's sole use ; while the astrono- 
mer sees worlds on worlds filled with life and beauty, among 
which this earth is but a tiny speck floating in immensity." 

Lord Lytton, whose abilities in many instances we have ad- 
mired, has shown, in his novel of "A Strange Story," that he 
can both write a very stupid book, and venture to treat of things 
with which his acquaintance is superficial and inaccurate. He 
here gives no evidence that he has ever investigated the subject 
of the spiritual phenomena, ancient and modern, with any pro- 
fundity of research or meditation. He so mixes up the crudest 
and most incongruous fancies of an imagination in search of the 
sensational with fragments of genuine truth, that his book has 
the effect on one of a wretched nightmare instead of a presenta- 
tion of credible phenomena that can be reconciled with existing 

In a letter bearing date the latter part of the year 1867, Lord 
Lytton writes to Mr. Benjamin Coleman, "All the experiments 
I have witnessed, if severely probed, go against the notion 
that the phenomena are produced by the spirits of the dead; 
and I imagine that no man, who can take care of his pockets, 
would give up his property to a claimant, who could bear cross- 
examination as little as some alleged spirit, who declares he is 
your father or friend, and tells you where he died, and then 
proceeds to talk rubbish, of which he would have been incapable 
when he was alive. I can conceive no prospect of the future 
worid more melancholy, than that in which Voltaires and Shake- 



speares are represented as having fallen into boobies, or, at 
best, of intellects below mediocrity." 

See Kerner's answer, and the answers elsewhere in this vol- 
ume, to obvious objections, like these, from persons who, like 
Lord Lytton, have gone but a little way in the path of investi- 
gation. All inquirers, like the friend who wrote the letter on 
the Rochester knockings (pa^e 34 of this volume), have to pass 
through that phase of doubt at which the distinguished novelist 
seems to have arrived and stopped. 

Because there may be mendacious, wanton, or frivolous spir- 
its, who choose to assume great names, it does not follow that 
they represent the whole spirit-world, any more than Falstaff 
and Pecksniff represent all humanity. 

Lord Lytton says that in all controversies on this question, 
he has found no clear definition of what is meant by spirit. 
And yet he talks very glibly of mattery and of agencies " operat- 
ing upon or through matter," as if he well knew what mat- 
ter is. 

But we know just as much about spirit as we do about mat-5 
ter. It is true that we know nothing of the essence of spirit : it is 
equally true that we know nothing of the substance or essence 
of matter. But perhaps the reader will say, "We cannot see 
spirit, and, therefore, we know but little about it." " Did it ever 
occur to the reader," asks a scientific writer, ** that we cannot 
see matter either? When we look at any object, it is not the 
object, after all, that we see, but merely the image of it formed 
on the retina of the eye. When I look at a house a mile distant, 
the object that I really see is not a mile distant, but within the 
eye. I do not see the houte at all, but I see an image of light 
representing the house. Thus it appears that matter is just 
as invisible as spirit. We know some of the properties and laws 
of spirit, and this is precisely the extent of our knowledge of 

Newton was of opinion that if sufficient pressure were put 
upon the earth, it would be compressed to the size of a globe an 
inch in diameter. And if to that site, why not to that of pea, 


and from that to a grain of mustard-eeed, and from that to an 
invisible particle of dust Ne¥rton virtually denied the exist- 
ence of matter as substance. Nothing remains but a congeries 
of laws. If the ultimate particles of matter are matkematical 
pointSy* as Newton assumed, it follows that if the particles of 
which the earth is composed were made to touch each other, the 
whole earth would be reduced to a mathematical point. And 
who can show that this hypothesis (that the laws of matter are, 
in fact, all there is of matter) is not scientifically correct?** 

It would seem that Providence does not mean we shall be 
spared the trouble of thinking for ourselves. And so neither 
mortal nor spirit comes to us with the credentials of infalli- 
bility. "The commonplace character of a large portion of the 
spirit communications, the extravagant and turgid character of 
some, cease to perplex when we come to view them as proceed- 
ing from beings lately ordinary dwellers upon earth, and retain- 
ing still their earthly dispositions and ideas. True, the difficulty 
remains as to why some small portion at least of these commu- 
nications should not bear the impress of transcendent wisdom 
and genius. The absence from them of any thing equalling, 
far less surpassing, the highest products of the human mind, 
argues, it must be admitted, some hinderance to intercourse with 
spiritual beings of an exalted order : may we not hope to over- 
come it?"t 

In regard to the varied and contradictory character of the 
communications, "Honestas" remarks in Human Nature," 
** As our childhood prepares us for maturer age, so our present 
life mediatorially renders us fit for the enjoyment of a future 
condition. But mediation implies that the characteristics of 
the former condition shall be preserved, and that they aid in 
bridging over the gulf that severs this life from the state here- 
after. And with the preservation of our individuality, is it far- 

* It was the conclusion of Faraday that matter, in its last analysis, is resolvable 
into joints of force. 

t Swedenborg tells ns that the communications of angels and spirits are limited by 
the materials found in man's memory. 


fetched to say, that the conditions which surround, sustain, and 
render its continuance possible, cannot be so world-wide diflferent 
in the future life as to make intercommunication between the two 
states impossible ; that the physical circumstances of spirits and 
of man have something akin, something in common, rendering 
superable that which was once believed insuperable? . . . 

"Now, in the varied character of the communications, we 
have a standard given us to measure the actu'al amount of the 
change which that death, that transition, into a perhaps more 
subtle and elementary condition, effects. The change does not, 
however, carry with it complete severance; on the contrary, 
mediated by growth and development on earth, the soul is sus- 
tained by a condition of material laws, Aediatorially rendered 
applicable by prior growth. In a word, the state hereafter can- 
not differ insuperably from that on earth. 

** Spiritualism has often given offence because it has failed to 
satisfy the cravings of those who desire for perfection here- 
after, — a perfection, it is unreasoning, illogical, to ask for. The 
varied character of the communications, so far from making 
me hesitate, strengthens my belief in the reality of Spiritual- 
ism ; for it brings me back from an ideal to a reality ; and in 
this reality I recognize the law of gradual step-by-step progress ; 
no jump and bound into something uncongenial, but a progress 
into a mediatorially prepared and kindred state, in which the 
individuality of the soul is maintained. This individuality 
could not, however, be sustained, unless supported by the influ- 
ence of great physical laws, which again co-operate and harmo- 
nize with those we recognize as operative in this, to us, natural 

The "Banner of Light," the leading spiritual journal of 
America, introduces all its messages, purporting to come from 
the spirit- world, with these words of caution : " We ask the 
reader to receive no doctrine put forth by spirits in these col- 
umns that does not comport with his or her reason. All express 
as much of truth as they perceive, — no more." 

Plutarch raises the same objections to the style of the oracles 



in his day that we raise to that of the spiritual communications 
of ours. If the verses," asks one of his speakers, are really 
bad, ought we to make Apollo their composer?" And the con- 
clusion is, that '*the first inspiration alone comes from him, 
which is, however, adapted to the nature of every prophetess." 

An ingenious writer remarks, that to the reader familiar with 
spiritual phenomena, it is evident even from the sneering narra- 
tive of Gibbon, that the apostasy of Julian, and his intei se 
enthusiasm in the cause of the fallen faith, was in trutli due to 
communication with the invisible world. Spirits of departed 
pagans, still clinging to their earthly creed, seem to have im- 
pressed him powerfully, visiting him, and conversing with him 
in the forms of the Olympian gods. "We may learn," says Gib- 
bon, from his faithful friend the orator Libanius, that he lived 
in a perpetual intercourse with the gods and goddesses, that 
they descended upon earth to enjoy the conversation of their 
favorite hero, that they gently interrupted his slumbers by 
touching his hand or his hair, that they warned him of every 
impending danger, and conducted him by their infallible wis- 
dom in every action of his life." 

Still, notwithstanding the contradictory character of many of 
the communications purporting to come from spirits, it cannot 
be denied that among those that do not seem to be prompted by 
mere wantonness or an insane conceit, there is a wonderful 
agreement on certain important points. For example, this bet- 
ter class seem to be unanimous in rejecting the notions of the 
resurrection of the physical body ; the eternity of hell torments ; 
and the doctrine of vicarious atonement, in the sense in which 
the so-called evangelical theology teaches it. 

They regard all punishment as remedial;* and the popular 
belief that the discipline of man and his moral responsibility 
cease at the period we call death, they denounce as a groundless 
assumption, in contradiction with the whole system on which 

* See a communication in the " London Pall Mall Gazette," of Nov. 9, 1866. for 
much of this statement. 


the moral ' and physical universe is conducted. Looking back 
myriads of ages, they bid us see always one slow, unbroken pro- 
cess of growth and development ; and they point to the same in 
the history of man as a race, and of each man as an individual. 
They tell us there is no precedent in creation for any such dislo- 
cation of the action of organic law as would be involved in that 
sudden cessation of the operation of moral and intellectual disci- 
pline, which is popularly supposed to be the result of death; 
that to suppose that every person who has " faith " and some 
small "good works" is instantly elevated to an eternal happi- 
ness, is one of the most irrational of theories, as is likewise the 
doctrine that the good are subjected to a purifying process 
without any further moral responsibility; that is, without any 
further real moral discipline whatsoever. 

If it be asked, How is this view to be applied to the millions 
in whom no moral discipline is commenced before death, this is 
the reply : We perceive that in the case of those in "v^hom the 
moral discipline is really begun, and is carried on to the utmost 
perfection, a material portion of their existence is necessarily 
passed before the commencement of the discipline. 

For years we all live a purely animal existence, and are ap- 
parently not a whit more like saints and sages in an embryonic 
stage than are the most degraded savages of Africa. How it is 
that an infancy and childhood of animalism and passion are an 
organic .preparation for an intellectual and moral probation, we 
cannot tell ; but there is the fact, not shocking, or distressing, 
or bewildering, because we are familiar with it, and we are 
cognizant of the subsequent development of the reasoning and 
moral character. Just such may be the whole terrestrial exist- 
ence of the savages under the tropics, or in our own fields and 
cities. All analogy leads us to the supposition that it may be 
simply the infancy of an existence commenced here and devel- 
oped hereafter. They live and die in ignorance of their nature 
and their coming destiny, like a babe that dies after a year of 
sickness and misery. This ignorance is, too, in harmony with 
that general law of ignorance slowly passing into knowledge, 



whose operation meets us wherever we turn our eyes.' It is one 
of the great mysteries of our life. " If there is a God," we are 
tempted to ask, "why does he thus hide himself? And why 
cannot we speak with him as we speak with one another?" 
There is no answer. We do not know. But we do know that 
ignorance of things g^eat and good and true is no proof that 
they do not exist. The ignorance of God in the savage and the 
pariah is no more a proof that he does not intend some day to 
make himself known to them, than their ignorance of the law 
of gravitation is a disproof of astronomical science. 

Should this solution of the mystery of human existence be 
thought to indicate too near an approach to the ancient doctrine 
of pre-existence and metempsychosis, it can none the less be 
admitted as in harmony with much of the speculation that pro- 
fesses to come from spiritual sources. 

As there are no acknowledged leaders of the present spiritual 
movement, it is of course impossible to lay down any state- 
ment of theological or religious doctrines in which Spiritualists 
agree. ** Our cardinal rule of action," says Judge Edmonds, one 
of the best known of the American Spiritualists, ** has been to 
build up no party, create no sect, cultivate no spirit of proselyt- 
ism, make no parade of faith, but let it enter your soul and 
govern your life." 

A convention of Spiritualists at Rochester, N.Y., September, 
1868, adopted a series of resolutions which embody many of the 
conclusions at which a large number have arrived ; but the con- 
vention wisely put forth these resolutions as presenting the 
opinions of those persons only tvko voted in the affirmative. 

Spiritualism, they say, teaches, "That man has a spiritual 
nature as well as a corporeal ; in other words, that the real man 
is a spirit, which spirit has an organized form, composed of 
sublimated material, with parts and organs corresponding to 
those of the corporeal body. That man, as a spirit, is immortal. 
Being found to survive that change called physical death, it may 
be reasonably supposed that he will survive all future vicissi- 
tudes. That there is a spiritual world, or state with its substan- 



tial realities, objective as well as subjective. That the process 
of physical death in no way essentially transforms the 'mental 
constitution or the moral character of those who experience it, 
else it would destroy their identity. That happiness or suffering 
in the spiritual state, as in this, depends not on arbitrary decree, 
or special provision, but on character, aspirations and degree 
of harmonization, or personal conformity to universal and 
divine law. 

" Hence that the experience and attainments of this life lay the 
foundation on which the next commences. That since growth, 
in some degree, is the law of the human being in the present 
life ; and since the process called death is, in fact, but a birth 
into another condition of life, retaining all the advantages 
gained in the experiences of this life, rt may be inferred that 
growth, development, expansion, or progression is the endless 
destiny of the human spirit. That the spiritual world is not far 
off, but near around, or interblended with our present state of 
existence ; and hence that we are constantly under the cogni- 
zance of spiritual beings. That as individuals are passing from 
the earthly to the spiritual state in all stages of mental and 
moral growth, that state includes all grades of character from 
the lowest to the highest. 

''That, as heaven and hell, or happiness and misery, depend 
on internal states rather than external surroundings, there are 
as many gradations of each as there are shades of character, — 
each one gravitating to his own place by natural law of affinity. 
They may be divided into seven general degrees or spheres; 
but these must admit of indefinite diversifications, or- ' many 
mansions,' corresponding to diversified individual character, — 
each individual being as happy as his character will allow him 
to be. 

"That communications from the spirit - world, whelher by 
mental impression, inspiration, or any other mode of transmis- 
sion, are not necessarily infallible truth ; but, on the contrary, 
partake unavoidably of the imperfections of the minds from 
which they emanate, and of the channels through which they 


come ; and are, moreover, liable to misinterpretation by those 
to whom they are addressed. Hence, that no inspired commu- 
nication, in this or any other age (whatever claims may be, or 
have been, set up as to its source), is authoritative any further 
than it expresses truth to the individual consciousness, — which 
last is the final standard to which all inspired or spiritual teach- 
ings must be brought for judgment. That inspiration, or the 
influx of ideas and promptings from the spiritual realm, is not 
a miracle of a past age, but a perpetual fact,' the ceaseless 
method of the divine economy for human elevation. That all 
angelic and demoniac beings which have manifested them- 
selves, or interposed in human affairs in the past, were simply 
disembodied human spirits, in diflferent grades of advance- 
ment. ' 

That all authentic miracles (so called) in the past, such as the 
raising of the apparently dead ; the healing of the sick, by lay- 
ing on of hands or other simple means ; unharmed contact with 
poisons ; the movement of physical objects, without visible in- 
strumentality, &c., — have been produced in harmony with 
* universal laws, and hence may be repeated at any time under 
suitable conditions. That the causes of all phenomena, the 
sources of all life, intelligence, and love, are to be sought in 
the internal, the spiritual realm, not in the external or material. 
That the chain of causation leads inevitably upward or onward 
to an infinite spirit, who is not only a forming principle (wis- 
dom), but an affectional source (love), — thus sustaining the 
^uTiX^ parental relations as father and mother to all finite intelli- 
gences, who, of course, are all brethren. 

"That man, as the offspring of this infinite parent, is his 
highest representative on this plane of being, — the perfect man 
being the most complete embodiment of the * Father's fulness' 
which we can contemplate; and that each man is, or has, by 
virtue of this parentage in his inmost, a germ of divine essence, 
which is ever prompting to the right, and which in time will 
free itself from all imperfections incident to the rudi mental x)r 
earthly condition, and will triumph over all evil. That all evil 


is disharmony, grater or less with this inmost or divine princi 
pie ; and hence whatever aids man to bring his more externa 
nature into subjection to, and harmony with, his interiors, — 
whether it be called * Christianity,' ' Spiritualism,* or the * Har- 
monial Philosophy ; * whether it recognize the * Holy Ghost,* 
the Bible, or a present spiritual and celestial influx, — is a 
* means of salvation * from evil." 

Dr. Henry T. Childs, of Philadelphia, a medium, writes as • 
follows : " Having seen and conversed with many spirits in 
different conditions, the facts are as clear to me as they can be, 
that the after-life and this are subject to progression, and that 
not from a pure stand-point of excellence in which there are no 
evil tendencies, but from whatever condition the spirit may be 
in. I have yet to find a spirit who does not feel that progression 
and growth are synonymous, and they ever mean a reaching 
forward to something better and leaving something that is evil. 
Death is nothing more than an incident in the continuous life- 
line of humanity, changing the surroundings, but leaving the 
interior just as it was, 

"With this experience, I know therft are evil spirits; spirits* 
who, like men, may delight in mischief and perverseness ; who 
have not realized their own rights sufficiently to respect the 
rights of others ; and my reason teaches me just what these 
fads have demonstrated to me. Seeing evil all around us, I see 
also the beautiful spiral pathway of progress, which is ever lead- 
ing us up out of these conditions." 

The following lines by Daniel Norton embody, we believe, the 
views of great numbers of Spiritualists on the subject of the 
ministry of evil : — 

" Sin leads to pain, and pain repentance brings : 

Thus sin, though evil, is a savior ; 
For in its train comes knowledge of those things 
To soul and body hurtful ; and the stings 
Of conscience bring us wisdom. Wisdom brings 

The pledge of future good behavior. 
Blessed be Darkness, then 1 It bringeth light 

I'rom oat the darkness, brighter glowii^. 


Blessed be Evil ; for it briogeth Right, 
As day is more e£fulgent after night ; 
Blessed be Sorrow ; it begets the might. 
To set life's truer current flowing." 

To this doctrine it is objected by the theologians, that, as it 
makes an entrance into evil necessary in order to serve as a self- 
conscious return to good, it exalts evil itself into goodness ; the 
• idea of sin and responsibility is destroyed, and views are intro- 
duced that would prove fatal to all true morality, as they would 
imply that no being can be properly educated, except through a 
process of sinning. 

Perhaps this i« an extreme construction to put upon the doc- 
trine. If life be disciplinary, all our experiences must be 
designed for our information and our good. Then comes up 
the terrible problem of free agency; and from this, we shall 
see, as we proceed, many great and learned men can find no 
-escape except in the hypothesis of a pre -existent state of 
the soul. 

As a specimen of the expositions of one of the most eloquent 
*of American mediums, Mr. Selden J. Finney, we give the fol- 
lowing abridgment of one of his discourses. Of course it 
merely expresses the views of an individual in regard to the 
philosophy of modern Spiritualism ; but we quote it as mani- 
festing no ordinary degree of philosophical culture and insight. 
"The great, distinguishing feature of this philosophy," says 
Mr. Finney, " is that it begins with the demonstration of a 
transcendent spiritual nature, called the soul, within the body 
of man. This it defines as an organic, spiritual entity; and 
proves that it lives on, after the physical body is dead, in higher 
spheres, subject to the same laws of intellectual, social, and 
moral being that rule us here; though, in those higher spheres, 
it has been translated into more refined conditions and rela- 
tions. . . . 

"It demonstrates that all angels are planet-born men and 
women. It proves the unity of nature, and so shows that our 
hells are kindled here by our own hands in our own breasts. 


It shows that when every physical sense is paralyzed, the mind 
and soul may be all the more untrammelled, — as in trance and 
clairvoyance, — and can soar afar into the deeps of external 
nature or hold blessed communion with spiritual intelligences. 
The wonders of clairvoyance, of trance-mediumship, of inspira- 
tional speaking, of table-moving, of impersonation, — in fact, 
of all the great classes of mediumship, — are the external proofs 
of the reality of our philosophy ; while the vast revelations that 
constitute the contents of the best communications are the ideal 
elements. . . . 

** Even a brute can be surprised by the movement of a table 
without contact of visible power; while under the inspiration 
of the gifted seer and poet, the g^eat fields of eternal day break 
on our rapt vision. This philosophy opens, on the one hand, 
the grand questions of physiological psychology; and, on the 
other, the profound questions of transcendental theology. . . . 

In demonstrating the independent entity of the soul, which 
can, even while in. the body, transcend the limits of sensation 
and hold converse with immortals. Spiritualism destroys the 
sensationalism of English philosophers, the subjective atheisih 
of Spencer, and the materialism of the French encyclopedists ; 
while, on the other hand, it corrects the too ideal tendencies 
of Hegelianism in Germany, and holds it to account on that 
middle ground of philosophy where sense and soul touch and 

*^The idealism of Berkeley, which reduced all the external 
world to a mere phantasm of sensation ; to a mere picture on 
the nerves of the body, whose cause was for ever shut away from 
our reach ; and the pantheism of Spinoza, or more especially of 
his one-sided disciples, — here find their grave, in common with 
that subjective idealism of Spencer, Sir William Hamilton, and 
Mr. Mansel, which is of late so much in vogue. Sensationalism 
has a half-truth ; idealism and pantheism have a half-truth ; but 
so long as each claimed to be the only truth, all were false in a 
double sense, and blind. 

"The truth in each of these schools is revived, emancipated, 




and united in the spiritual philosophy. Idealism would re- 
create the external world from the depths of unaided con- 
sciousness. Sensationalism would create consciousness from 
the external world as a mere material force, which goes out like 
any other fire in the ashes of its body. But Spiritualism, in 
demonstrating the dual nature of man, in showing that we live 
in two worlds at once, and are vitally related to each, having 
powers that lay hold on the forces and verities of both at once, 
unites in itself the truth of each, unmixed with the errors of 

"Does Mr. Spencer tell us that spirit is * utterly inscrutable'? 
The spiritual philosophy answers, *Man is a spirit per se, and 
can cognize spiritual beings of the immortal life; has done so; 
has identified the persons of the departed ; your theory must be 
false.' Does Mr. Mansel set * limits to thought*? The spiritual 
philosophy pulls them down, and opens again the fair fields of 
spiritual naturalism to the contemplation of thinkers. Does 
Sir William Hamilton call the idea of God ar * revelation '? The 
spiritual philosophy answers, *Yes;' but a 'revelation made 
through those natural powers and faculties of the soul, which 
connect us with the soul of the world, and which transcend the 
physical senses, as the immortal transcends the mortal life of 
man, and not by any means a supernatural revelation, made in 
a book.' 

"The great contest in philosophy has been and is waged 
over * method.' The sensational philosophy reasons only induc- 
tively ; from external facts toward their causes. Idealism reasons 
only deductively from ideas which it finds in the reason, toward 
their effects. But neither method can g-ive any facts or ideas to 
begin with. Both facts and ideas are assumed in the outset by 
both methods. Hence it is evident that neither method is alone, 
or often together, full and complete. How do we find the facts 
and ideas to start with, if, after all, we cannot get our facts by 
induction ; for induction begins with facts as given, and cannot 
proceed one inch, except on the assumption of facts from which 
to reason and infer? Induction cannot set out from zero and 


reason to entity. It must begin with some previously known 
and acknowledged facts or principles. It cannot discover by 
induction the original facts from which induction can alone 
set out. 

So with deduction : it sets out with ideas which it finds in 
the mind. It cannot descend to effects from zero, any more 
than induction can rise from zero to causes. Neither can origi- 
nate its facts or its principles. Both are dependent for their 
respective data on some power superior to either method of 
reasoning. These methods are both second-hand processes; 
neither is aboriginal, primary. Now, what is that power which 
gives us the facts on the one side, and the principles on the 
other from which to set out? Whatever it be, it is self-evidently 
superior to either induction or deduction; for on its directly 
given data both methods proceed. Both methods are then 
secondary; both are the mere mechanics of that power which 
gives the data to 'begin with. Hence reasoning is only that 
process by which things and principles are accounted for and 
related, but never authorized. 

** There is, hence, the necessity for some power that is abo- 
riginal, direct, authoritative, and supreme, implied by both 
methods of reasoning. This power must, therefore, be in 
direct contact with both the facts and the ideas with which 
these two methods begin, and on which they depend. This 
power can be nothing less than intuition. Intuition is the 
direct and immediate perception of facts on the one side, and 
of principles on the other. No reasoning can begin upon any 
other ground. The data of all reasoning is given at first hand 
in intuition alone. Hence intuition is the only power of dis- 
covery. When it reveals the external facts, it acts through the 
external senses; when it reveals ideas, principles, laws, it acts 
through the soul. 

** And here comes to view the spiritual method of philosophy. 
It is direct, intuitive, aboriginal, authoritative, and supreme. 
All possible speculation rests at last on its revelations. I say 
* revelations.' When we see the external forms of the outward 



world, a revelation is made ; when we discover an idea, another 
revelation is made. ' Revelation ' is the great aboriginal fact in 
all mentality. We no more will to see the world than we will 
to be. We do not come to know that we are^ or that any thing 
else is by induction any more than we will to be^ by induction. 
The consciousness of the existence of the me, and of the not me, 
is as direct a revelation as it is possible to conceive. Xhese are 
the great aboriginal intuitions of all souls, and form the ground 
of all possible reasoning. Now, if it be possible to get the 
greater, it is possible to get the lesser facts of existence by 
such aboriginal intuition, — direct < revelation.' Indeed, all the 
contents of existence are included in this primal intuition of 
existence itself. And if the existence itself can be thus g^ven 
intuitively, directly, and with supreme authority, so can all the 
contents of existence be so given. 

Hence the spiritual method of philosophy. All' perceptions 
by the senses are direct intuitions of all that sensation reveals 
or perceives. Sensation may be, and doubtless is, limited to 
the phenomenal alone ; but if so, its intuition of phenomena is 
direct and authoritative. So spiritual intuition perceives directly 
and at first hand the eternal laws and ideas which rule the whole 
phenomenal empire of the world. Hence all reasoning is de- 
pendent on intuition as the great revelator of all things and 
principles. It is the supreme voice of the absolute in the soul 
of man ; or, rather, it is the world, the universe, of both phe- 
nomena and power arisen into self-cognition. The conscious- 
ness of man is the self-cognition of the universe. 

** Axioms of mathematics are self-revelations of eternal ideas, 
— * self-evident truths.' They are eternal. Axioms are given as 
eternal, and as absolute. They admit of no contradiction, no 
limitation, and no suspension. They are absolute authority. 
Other axioms have the same character. Axioms are not infer- 
ences, not deductions. They do not depend upon logic; logic 
depends upon them. All reasoning derives from, not gives au- 
thority to, them. Hence these are intuitions of eternal princi- 
ples. Now, if the greater can be given by intuition, so can the 


less. And hence the spiritual method opens unew the rojal 
road to knowledge. Clairvoyance is a practical proof of the 
feasibility and utility of the intuitive method. If the uneducated 
shoemaker's apprentice, blindfolded and paralyzed, can, through 
supersenuous channels, inact the great facts of science (as has 
been proved and tested in this country often), then we have a 
practical and experimental proof and exhibition of the reality 
and truth of the spiritual method of philosophy. 

"Mere metaphysical argument alone is inadequate to reach 
the masses. But when to spiritual metaphysics we add the ex- 
perimental illustration of the transcendent nature and relations 
of the soul, we secure both sides of the required demonstration. 
And when on the top of all this, we place the wonderful facts 
of spiritual intercourse, our philosophy becomes irresistibly 
demonstrative. It recognizes the intuitive method as authority 
m revelation, and the inductive and deductive methods as the 
two wings oi demonstration. The first reveals ideas and facts, — 
the original data of all philosophy. The last two show the 
logic and relations of those data. 

" Hence the completeness of the spiritual philosophy. Does 
sensationalism ask for * facts'? The experimental branch of our 
philosophy gives them in abundance. Does idealisin demand 
ideas and deductions ? The ideal side gives them at first hand. 
Does pantheism demand recognition of the Infinite Presence 
and Power? Intuition gives us the direct revelation thereof in 
the very substance of the soul and its relations. 

" It is vain for Mr. Spencer, Mr. Mansel, and others, to deny 
to us any absolute knowledge, or any knowledge of the absolute. 
The * absolute* of Spencer, Mansel, and others, is nonentity de- 
fined as Being. This is evident from Mr. Spencer's summary 
of the argument for the * relativity of all knowledge.' He says, 
* We have seen how, from the very necessity of thinking in re- 
lations, it follows that the relative itself is inconceivable except 
as related to a real non-relative.* We reply, A ^non-relative* 
related to the * relative* is a contradiction in terms, and an im- 
possible conception. Mr. Spencer's < non-relative,' is used to 


mean the ' absolute,* ' the infinite, — the real reality underlyimg 
all appearances,^ And yet it is said \o be out of all relations^ — 

* non-relative.' And yet the relative itself is conceived as de- 
pendent for its conception on its relations to this non-rela- 

<*If this is not self-contradiction with a vengeance, what can 
be ? Mr. Spencer's * non-relative ' is nonentity defined as the 

* absolute,' *the infinite,' — a 'real reality underlying all appearr 
ances.' Can the * infinite,* * real reality,' be destitute of all rela- 
tions? It is absurd. The very argument for the ' relativity of 
all knowledge,' destroys itself ; for the very idea *• relative,' is 
acknowledged to be dependent on its relation to the * absolute.' 
The characteristics of Mr. Spencer's * non-relative ' are those of 
zero. The * infinite ' of Nature and of the soul are not identical 
with this * absolute ' of Spencer. He is therefore wrong. An 

* infinite reality underlying all ' things must be the* aboriginal 
esse of the entire universe, the one indivisible substance and 
power of all forms and all force. Hence it is in contact with the 
soul, with the mind. Nay : it is the substance of both body 
and souh 

" And who shall then attempt to set limits to our knowledge? 
No man can do it, until he can comprehend the infinite possibili- 
ties of eternal progress; until he can take the latitude and longi- 
tude of all possible truth ; until he can measure all the possible 
developments of immortal ages ; until he can rise out of his own 
limitations to a realm where he can embrace and outline the 
whole future career of the immortal intellect of man. And this 
is self-evidently impossible. 

"The very ground on which Mr. Spencer plants himself to 
prove the * relativity of all knowledge,' is, by his own claims, 
and in his own words, * the ever-present sense of real existence^ 
He confounds the idea of some knowledge of the * infinite,* with 
infinite knowledge. His whole system is that of subjective 
atheism; or, if you choose, of objective idealism. He plants 
us in an ontological vacuum between the objective world and the 

* absolute ' Nature ; and after granting the clear conception of 



the one, and the ' ever-present sense ' of the other, denies us any 
absolute knowledge of either. 

" He attempts, it is true, to save religion ; but he saves it to us 
as the pursuit of an * utterly inscrutable power,' of whose nature 
and character, whether divine or devilish, we can never have any 
knowledge whatsoever. And yet he bids us worship this * utterly 
unknowable power.* What is that religion good for that bids us 
worship ' we know not what'? It may be deity, it may be devil. 
And are we to be told that, though religion can never rise to the 
idea of divinity, can never know there is a God, — in other words, 
can never have a philosophy of religion, — we must still push on 
after both deity and a religious philosophy ? Is this the way re- 
ligion, the grandest pursuit of man, is to be saved to the nine- 
teenth century? What is this but atheism under another name? 
What is the difference to me, whether it be proved that I can 
never know God, or that there ts no knowable God? Is it not all 
one as to worship ? Can we be rationally called upon to worship 
utter inscrutability under pretence that it may be divine for 
aught we know? To such absurdities has modern sensational- 
ism and inductive philosophy driven itself. 

** But Spiritualism relegates man to the aboriginal sources of 
all inspiration and all revelation. It plants itself on the demon- 
stration of the spiritual entity and supersensuous relations of 
the soul. It illustrates its philosophy in its experiments. It 
rises inductively from this demonstration to the divine idea, — 
to God ; or, starting with this divine idea, reasons deductively 
down to the idea of the soul and its immortality. Starting with 
th^ fact that man is a spirit se, it rises to the inference that 
all aboriginal substance may be spirit, fer se. Or, starting with 
the idea of God as infinite spirit, shows that there is no room 
for * matter ' as aboriginal substance in the universe. If one 
admits the idea of infinite spirit, — God, — he cannot escape the 
great spiritual idea that there is but one substance in the uni- 
verse; viz.. Spirit. If one start with the idea of the spiritual 
entity of the soul, he lands in the same conclusion. Both paths 
lead to the same great idea. And when we perceive the unity of 



nature ; when we regard the mutual transfonnabilitj of bodies, 
and of all forces ; when we discover in the analyzed sunbeam 
and starbeam the elements which have been precipitated and 
hardened into rocks and coal and iron and other metals ; when 
we behold ever^rwhere the reign of the same invisible power, 
ever changing in form, but ever the same in esse, — the soul is 
carried, as on the tide of inspiration, up to the same great idea 
that spirit * is all, and in all.* 

Our philosophy shows that man is made of the same stuff as 
the universe is. Hence, his fraternity with all things. For how 
could man receive life, power, substance, light, heat, gravitation, 
electricity, beauty, and wisdom, if he were not composed at bot- 
tom of substance and power and law, one and identical with 
these? All substance and power is one, or no universe could 
arise out of them. Hence man is the autocrat of creation. 
He carries sheathed within his flesh the potent secrets of all 

** And here, it will be seen, is a religious philosophy, which 
carries with it ail the causes of ultimate success. In its view, all 
creation is trembling with the tides of divine life. Hence its 
high estimate of true science. Can science discover a truth our 
philosophy will not consecrate and use? No; for science is 
only the study of modes and symbols of divine life and action. 
Spiritualism is the only religion on earth, that can * have science 
for symbol and illustration.* It is the mathematics and ethics 
of eternal law. It is true it makes religion natural ; but then it 
makes nature spiritual and divine. It does not degrade God to 
* matter; * it elevates * matter * to spirit. It does not reduce reli- 
gion to * material * science ; it elevates science to the divine busi- 
ness of justifying, explaining, and demonstrating religion. . . . 
It is spiritual power alone that thus renews the world. The 
meaning of spiritual is real, in our philosophy. 

** Hence the spiritual idea of man : man is nature, physical 
and spiritual, essential and phenomenal, gone up into organic, 
•elf-conscious moral unity and volition. He has a sense for 
•«ch external phenomenon, and a spiritual faculty for all eternal 


It was spiritual inspiration which moved the poet to 

* Even here I feel 
Among these mighty things, that as I am, 
I am akin to God ; that I am part 
Of the use universal, and can grasp 
Some portion of that reason in the which 
The whole is ruled and founded ; that I have 
A spirit nobler in its cause and end, 
Lovelier in order, greater in its powers, 
Than all these bright and swift immensities t ' 

** As the solid earth is but precipitated sunbeams, so the na- 
ture of man is organized spirit. The body is but the secreted 
shell of the soul. ... A day will come to every soul, when into 
the channels of its purified being will pour the love, the truth, 
and the beauty of the world. To be passive to the spirit of na- 
ture, is the secret of genius, and the path of salvation. Thus 
does the spiritual philosophy revive the hopes, and strengthen 
the soul of man." 

We translate the following from the ** Livre des Esprits " of 
Allan Kardec: — 

" The morality of the superior order of spirits is substantially 
that of Christ in this evangelical maxim : Do unto others as you 
would have them do unto you ; that is to say, do good, and not 
evil. In this principle, man may find the universal rule of con- 
duct for his slightest acts. 

They teach us that egoism, pride, sensuality, are passions 
which bring us nearer to the animal nature in attaching us to 
matter ; that he who here below detaches himself from matter 
by contempt of merely worldly futilities, and by love of the 
neighbor, draws nearer to a spiritual nature ; that each one of 
us ought to render himself useful according to the faculties and 
the means which God has put into our hands for proving us ; 
that the strong and the influential owe support and protection to 
the feeble, for he who abuses his power to oppress his fellow- 
creatures, violates the law of God. 

They teach, finally, that in the world of spirits, as nothing 

write, — 



can be concealed, the hypocrite will be unmasked, and all his 
turpitudes exposed ; that to the state of inferiority and of supe- 
riority of spirits are attached pains and enjoyments which are 
unknown upon earth. But they also teach that there are no 
faults that are irremissible, and that cannot be effaced by expia- 
tion. Man finds the means of remission and improvement in 
the different existences that afford him an opportunity to advance 
according to his desire and his efforts, in the way of progress, 
and towards the perfection which is his ever-receding goal." 

In an able series of essays, entitled **What is Religion?" 
Mr. Shorter shows the fallacy of the notion that Spiritualism is 
a new religion; or, indeed, a religion at all. He shows that 
religion is not the mere acceptance of other people's beliefs; 
that belief, simply as such, and separate from the moral element 
of faith, or, in other words, mere opinion about religion, no 
more makes a man religious, than his opinion about shoe- 
making makes him a shoemaker ; that history is not religion ; 
that literature is not religion ; and that morality simply is not 
religion ; for though religion comprehends morality, as the 
larger comprehends the less, yet morality may be practised 
from such motives as not to include religion. 

But, contends Mr. Shorter, if Spiritualism be not religion, it 
leads up thereto ; it evidences, illustrates, confirms, enforces 
it; and gives certainty to what in many minds had become 
doubtful. It brings heaven and hell sensibly nearer and more 
real to us as states of being, the necessary consequence of what 
we have been and are, and so opens out to us broade^ grander, 
nobler views of man's nature and destiny than is possible to 
those to whom nature and the present life are all; or, than is 
common when religion consists mainly in the acceptance of 
tradition and dogma, which are held but as the accident of edu- 
cation and geographical position. 

It shows men, to use the words of Henry More, the Platonist 
(1659), that ** no other Nemesis should follow them than what 
they themselves lay the train of." 

While Spiritualism corroborates and elucidates the genuine 


truths of religion, it also exposes and corrects many of the 
delusions and mistakes into which men have blundered in their 
speculations on matters associated with it. Mr. Shorter in- 
stances, as an illustration, the old controversy on which theolo- 
gians are still divided, and, so long as they move only in the old 
ruts, are likely to remain so, — the question, whether at death 
the soul retains its active, conscious powers, and at once enters 
on its new life ; or, whether it only wakes to consciousness to be 
re-united to its resuscitated body at some period unknown, when 
the great assize of all humanity is to be held, and the affairs of 
the world finally wound up. 

Now it needs no argument to show, that, if there be any truth 
in Spiritualism, there can be none in the latter of these two 
views. If the departed still perceive, remember, think, love, 
suffer, and enjoy, and communicate with us, it must be evident 
that they are neither in their graves, nor are they like an ante- 
diluvian toad imbedded in a coal seam, in a state of torpor or 
suspended animation ; but that, on the contrary, they are in the 
present plenitude of their life, with all that appertains to it. 

Religion, then, is something to be experienced and lived : it is 
not now to be discovered or invented. If modern Spiritualism 
dates from 1847, and constitutes a new reUgioUi wherein is it 
»ewf What is there in religion since 1847 that there was not 
in it in 1846? The immortality of the soul; the existence of a 
spirit-world ; the manifestations and ministry of spirits, and 
communion with them ; the assurance that Divine mercy 
and spiritual progression are not limited to the natural world 
and the present life ; that the future retribution is not arbitrary, 
penal, and vindictive, but the inevitable consequence of the acts 
here done and the character here formed, — these are all ideas 
of the old world and of the old faith. 

Our place and state, our condition and surroundings in the 
spirit-world are determined by a law of moral gravitation, — 
the attraction of spiritual affinity. Prudence, even at its best, is 
not religion. To set down that feeling as religious, which 
springs from a fear of hell, or a desire to secure the good things 



of heaven, is to degrade the ministry of religion. To inspire 
men with dread, — to supplement the jail and the gallows,— 
this, indeed, were hangman's work for religion ; and scarce less 
degrading were it to religion to employ her to coax men (as 
children are coaxed with sugar-plums) by the promise, that if 
they will but be good, they shall certainly hereafter be made 
very comfortable and be well paid for it. 

It is a terrible and mischievous burlesque of religion that 
would thus make it the minister tcr human selfishness, provided 
only that it be a little more subtle, enlightened, and far-sighted 
than ordinary, and coated with a thin varnish of sentiment. 
The aim of religion is not to cultivate selfishness of any kind, 
not to disguise it under fine names and fair pretences ; but to 
deliver men from selfishness of every sort and degree, here and 
everywhere, now and at all times, in time and in eternity. 
Especially is this so of the religion of Christ." 

By self-denial, by unceasing combat against evil, by prayer 
for strength to do and to suffer, we prepare ourselves for 
heaven, — not to sit down there in idle beatitudes, but to carry 
out more fully the ends of our being in works of good uses 
towards all creation. We go there to work, not to sit supinely 
and enjoy a flow of pleasure. And the cost we are paying here 
daily is to fit us for the work. 

" We are immortal," says Andrew Jackson Davis, " because, 
I. Nature was made to develop the human body ; 2. The human 
body was made to develop the human spirit ; and, 3. Every spirit 
is developed and organized sufficiently unlike any other spirits or 
substance in the universe, to maintain its individuality throughout 
eternal spheres, 

" Each human spirit possesses within itself an eternal affinity 
of parts and powers; which affinity there exists nothing suffi- 
ciently superior in power and attraction to disturb, disorganize, 
and annihilate. 

Death is but the local or final development of a succession 
of specific changes in the corporeal organism of man. As the 
death of the germ is necessary to the birth or develooment of 


the flower^ so is the death of man's physical body an indis- 
pensable precedent and indication of his spiritual birth or resur- 
rection. That semi-unconscious slumber into which the soul 
and body mutually and irresistibly glide, when darkness per- 
vades the earth, is typical of death. Sleep is but death unde- 
veloped ; or, in other words, sleep is the incipient manifestation 
of that thorough and delightful thange, which is the glorious 
result of our present rudimental existence. Night and sleep 
correspond to physical death ; but the brilliant day and human 
wakefulness correspond to spiritual birth and individual ele- 

" There is every reason why man should rest, with regard to 
life and death, and be happy; for the laws of nature are un- 
changeable and complete in their operations. If we understand 
these laws, and obey them on the earth, it is positively certain 
that our passage from this sphere, and our emergement into the 
spirit-country, will be like rolling into the blissful depths of 
natural sleep, and awakening from it, to gaze upon, and to dwell 
in, a more congenial and harmonious world." 

*'As to the immortality of the soul," writes Bianca Mojon 
(who died in Paris in 1849), maintain that we all feel it 
independently of revelation. It is not a mathematical cer- 
tainty, (?) — that does not belong to moral questions ; but it is 
precisely a moral certainty. Without this belief, there is neither 
religion, charity, nor possible virtue. Not that I believe those 
who deny immortality to be incapable of virtue ; but I maintain 
that they are actuated by a confused feeling of immortality, 
which, in spite of every thing, works in them. Their opinion 
is but a negative doubt, and the want of an intellectual sense. 
I conjure you, then, with tears in my ejres, not to withhold this 
support and consolation from your children. Do not throw 
them into the void and desolation of metaphysical doubt.'* 

The credibility of a future state of existence is fully suffi- 
cient to become a practical principle, however low the evidence 
may appear ; for, at the very lowest, we cannot prove the nega- 
tive. Death, even to our senses, is not an annihilation, but 
onlv a new combination of matter. 


At a convention of Spiritualists in Cleveland in 1867, Mr. 
Burtis, of Rochester, an aged man, is reported to have said, 

I am hardly nineteen years old. It is about that time since 
these tiny raps came to my house, and awakened me to a con- 
sciousness not only of the life beyond, but of this life also. I 
had been here many years, but it was only from that time 
I began to live." * 

How well does this saying of the old man confirm these words 
of Jean Paul Richter : ** A man may, for twenty years, believe 
the immortality of the soul ; in the one-and-twentieth, in some 
great moment, he for the first time discovers with amazement 
the rich meaning of thi5 belief, the warmth of this naphtha- 
well I " 

" Christianity, when rightly understood," says Mr. H. J. 
Slack, presents itself as the synthesis of all that heathen 
times endeavored to reach. It is a purification and comple- 
tion of the wisdom of the past, not an antagonism, as some 
would teach." 

In the narrative by Plato of the last days of Socrates, his 
friend Crito is represented as asking him the question, ** How 
and where shall we bury you?" Socrates tebukes the phrase 
instantly: "Bury me," he answers, in any way you please, if 
you can catch me to bury. . . . Say rather, Crito, say, if you 
love me, where shall you bury my body; and I will answer 
you. Bury it in any manner and in any place you please." 

But how can a soul issue from the lifeless body without our 
seeing it? asks the skeptic. To which it may be replied, that to 
appeal to sense to prove the non -agency, and therefore the non- 
existence of an object not perceptible by sense, is hardly sound 

"When the materialist argues," says Sir Benjamin Brodie, 
" that we know nothing of mind except as being dependent on 
material organization, I turn his argument against him, and 
say that the existence of my own mind is the only thing of 
which I have any positive and actual knowledge." 

The Catholic Church admits the facts of Spiritualism. Re- 


ccntly in New York, Father Hecker, an eminent Catholic divine, 
declared that **with the truth underlying Spiritualism there is 
no issue, so far as the Catholic Church is concerned. It has 
ever been a household affair in the Church." As to the character 
of the manifestations, he believed they were demoniacal rather 
than angelical. ** The Church," he says, " has an order of 
exorcists to combat the demoniac influence, and provides for 
the use of the exorcistic ritual whenever the signs establishing 
demoniac 'possession * are clearly proved; and, singular .to say, 
those signs are the identical ones now used by Spiritualists to 
prove their doctrine ; namely, speaking in tongues with which 
the medium is not, in the natural state, conversant ; disclosing 
a knowledge of things hidden; showing strength above that 
appertaining to the years and constitution of the medium. 
Spiritism, doubtless, has intercourse with the other world, but 
not with the heavenly portion of it. 

** No one who reads can doubt that there has ever been an 
intercourse between the human race and the spirits of the other 
world. This is the most deep, the most mysterious instinct of 
the human soul. And there is nothing connected with this that 
shocks us. Shakespeare, the great poet of the heart, introduces 
the ghost in *■ Hamlet' in order to corroborate, as it were, the 
theory that the spirits of the departed are our familiars still. 
Socrates believed that he saw and conversed with his familiar 
spirit. So strong is the belief on these points, that the great 
Dr. Johnson avowed that he would not maintain that the dead 
were seen no more, against the concurrent testimony of the 

The theory that the modem spiritual phenomena proceed, 
without exception, from fallen spirits or devils, has been urged 
by several learned writers, both Catholic and Protestant. The 
" Dublin Review," the great organ of Catholic theology in Ire- 
land, has an important article in its issue for October, 1867, in 
which it admits the phenomena, but pronounces them infernal. 
It quotes from a work by Father Perrone, published at Ratisbon 
in 1866, in which that learned ecclesiastic gives a selection from 



the names of several eminent persons, lay and clerical ; among 
the latter, Lacordaire, Sibour (the late archbishop of Paris), the 
late Cardinal Gousset, and others, on whose minds a full con- 
viction of the genuineness of the spiritual phenomena had been 
wrought. The writer in the " Dublin Review " remarks as fol- 
lows in regard to these phenomena : — 

** Among men of keen and cultivated minds they were at first 
received, not only with disbelief, but with laughter and derision : 
they were rejected as untrue, not because not proven, but because 
incapable of proof, because they were impossible ; and, indeed, 
impossible they are, as we shall see, to mere human power and 
skill. Among the characteristics of the world in modern times, 
a tendency to believe in the preternatural most certainly can nol 
be reckoned. The phenomena of magnetism and spiritism at 
least appear preternatural. The predisposition was dead against 
accepting them : it was predicted that, before the generation that 
witnessed their rise had died out, they would have disappeared 
and been forgotten. Weil, years have rolled on ; and men who 
formerly would not without impatience read or listen to the ac- 
counts of these phenomena (the present writer was one of these), 
had at length been led to examine what was making such a noise 
in the world, and from mature, and for a time prejudiced, exam- 
ination, have been led to conviction. In this way have been 
brought round several of the ablest and most learned men in 
Europe, Catholic theologians, physicians, and philosophers ; and 
others. Catholic, Protestant, and free-thinking. Authority does 
not necessarily, nor even generally, prove an opinion ; in a mat- 
ter of mere opinion, the most inquiring and cautious men may 
be greatly deceived, and have been so deceived. But here there 
is question of facts and of the testimony of the senses ; of facts 
sensible to the sight, the hearing, the touch ; of facts and testi- 
monies repeated over and over again, beyond the possibility of 
calculation, in the greater part of Europe and America, and re- 
corded year after year down to the present day. It is quite im- 
possible that about such facts such a cloud of such witnesses 
should be all deceived." 



In regard to the question, By what agency are these phenom^ 
en a produced? our reviewer condenses very closely the author 
whom he follows. The various hypotheses put forward are ex- 
amined seriatim^ until certain conclusions (given in the form of 
propositions) are reached. " His first proposition is, that though 
some oiiSxe, physiological phenomena of.animal magnetism, som- 
nambulism and Spiritualism, viewed in themselves and apart 
from accompanying adjuncts, may be ascribed to material nat- 
ural causes, most of them, or the whole taken in the aggregate, 
can by no means be referred to such a source ; " while to refer 
the psychological phenomena to unknown laws of nature, as 
some do, is extremely unphilosophical and absurd ; for they 
contradict laws of nature that are certain and universally known. 
For example, it is a law of our nature that we cannot read with 
our eyes closed and bandaged, that we cannot speak a language 
we never learned," &c. 

The closing propositions affirm that good angels cannot be 
the cause of these phenomena ; of which no other cause can be 
admitted, save bad angels or devils. On these propositions, 
Spiritualists, according to their peculiar experiences, are likely 
to join issue, and to contend that the existence of bad spirits, 
able to manifest their power on this material plane, implies the 
existence of good. 

But it is something to have proved a spirit, whether good or 
bad. If the modern phenomena have done this, they have done 
what many minds will accept as the evangel that will lift them 
from utter darkness into the light of immortality. Spiritualism 
will not be disturbed by this cry of diabolical ageScy. It was 
raised centuries ago against one of whom it was said, he spake 
as never man spake." To the learned Sadducees of the nine- 
teenth century, it will be a gr^at step out of the fog if they can 
be made to believe even in a devil. 

**If," says an eloquent writer, "we can make no other use of 
these lower spirits, — these stragglers on the outer boundaries 
of the spiril-worid, — we may at least accept them as adventur- 
ous travellers seeking a new world ; accept the floating weeds on 




the heaving waves — as signs thai land is near. But how anj 
one, with God's spirit to whisper to him, and nature to smile 
upon him, and angels in the flesh to love him, and the Bible 
open before him, can talk in this way, and seek to frighten us 
from the bright path now opening before us, with the smell of fire 
and brimstone, and horrible phantasmagoria of nothing but evil, 
I cannot tell. For myself, I am resolved to go on ; for, at pres- 
ent, I have seen nothing of all this. The fiends have not mocked 
me, but the angels have whispered to me ; and if I am told that 
they are only the children of falsehood in disguise, still I will go 
on. Surely, I shall come up with the outposts of the Great King 
before long ; for surely God and the angels are not altogether 
banished from a world where, I am told, the spirits of evil are 
allowed to lurk for prey 1 " 

Cudworth, one of the noblest of the English Platonists and 
Spiritualists, writing nearly two centuries ago, dismisses, with 
something like scorn, the notion that evil powers can ever estab- 
lish any evil creed ; for, whatever is evil or immoral, is in itself 
a standing proof against itself, though it came with all the 
power of miracles. "Though all miracles promiscuously," he 
says, **do not immediately prove the existence of a God, nor 
confirm a prophet, nor whatever doctrine, yet they do all of 
them evince that there is a rank of invisible, understanding 
beings, superior to men, which the atheist cannot deny." 

We have already seen that the followers of Swedenborg give a 
bad name to modern Spiritualism. This is sometimes instanced 
in opposition, inasmuch as Spiritualists do not deny the limited 
seership of^wedenborg. But since the majority of skeptics in 
i^gnrdto a future existence would be relieved of their unhappy 
doubts, if it could be proved to them that there is any thing like 
Spiritual agency, good or bad, going on in the world, would it 
be more generous in our Swedenborgian friends to brave the 
imIs <^ a*^ investigation, and do what they can to place these 
kjKM|«Miena« significant of spirit, on an impregnable scientific 
our own part, we are quite willing to run all the risk 
aMdilihf**^^ cry ** Pythonism ! " and ^'■Diablerie ! " brandish to 

swedenborg's claims. 323 


deter us, if we can be the means of conve.ying light and hope 
to one poor human mind, groping amid the mists of unbelief on 
the great question of the ages, — Does the conscious individual- 
ism of man terminate with the phenomenon called death ? 

*'The relation of Swedenborgianism to Spiritualism," says 
William White, "is a story for a humorist. Years ago, when 
familiarity with spirits was rare, Swedenborgians used to snap 
up and treasure every scrap of supernatural intelligence. The 
grand common objection to Swedenborg was his asserted ac- 
quaintance with angels and devils: it seemed an insuperable 
obstacle to faith. Many of the early Swedenborgians had won- 
derful private experiences to relate. Spirits rapped in Noble*8 
study. Clowes professed himself an amanuensis of angels. 
Swedenborgians, it might be supposed, were ready to run wild 
after spirit manifestations. But it so happened that clairvoy- 
ants and mediums, while they confirmed in general Swedenborg's 
other- wo rid revelations, contradicted him in many particulars. 
This was intolerable, — contradict our heavenly messenger ! At 
once the old line of argument was abandoned. Nothing was 
now wickeder than converse with spirits. Intercourse with them 
is dangerous, disorderly, and forbidden by the Word! True, 
Swedenborg did talk with spirits, but he held a special license 
from the Lord ; he warned us of its perils ; and his example is 
no pretext for all, and sundry. ... In return, the Spiritualists 
rank Swedenborg among their chief mediums, and question and 
adopt his testimony a/ discretion; but this liberal indifference 
only adds fire to the jealousy of the Swedenborgians, and fiercer 
and thicker fall their blows." ^ 

With regard to this alleged danger of spiritual intercourse, so 
much insisted on by the followers of Swedenborg, it has been 
well replied that, were the danger to the full as great as repre- 
sented, the objection would still be insufficient. We have only 
to take up a newspaper to be convinced that it is very dangerous 
to hold intercourse with men in the natural world ; that there 
are here plenty of spirits who lie, and cheat, and rob, and mur- 
der. Even in "respectable society," in "the Church," and 


among its ministers, there are many who pretend to be what 
they are not ; with whom, for instance, charity is often on the 
lip while bitterness is in the heart. Are we, therefore, to aban- 
don society, to abandon religion, to shut out all human inter- 
course ? God forbid ! The prosecution of natural science is, we 
know, attended with danger, sometimes with destruction : are 
we therefore to abandon it? Is the knowledge of spiritual things 
jess important, less noble than of material things? And is the 
fear of danger the most noble and heroic virtue that Christianity 
has enshrined? 

If, as Swedenborg says, spirits associate only with their like, 
then to false and malignant men alone is there danger from false 
and malignant spirits : those who earnestly seek truth and good- 
ness do not incur it. 

The literal sense of the teachings of the Old Testament is 
generally rejected by the Swedenborgians ; but it is now thought 
convenient to adhere to it, so far as it prohibits spiritual inter- 
course. That must be permitted to Swedenborg only. But will 
it be contended that all which was prohibited to Jews under the 
old dispensation, is prohibited to Christians under the new? 

There have been many seers who, like Swedenborg, Thomas 
L. Harris, and others, have claimed infallibility; but in reverent 
minds this very claim must be conclusive against them. Swe- 
denborg, it is well known, relates that, while he sat eating ki a 
tavern in London, the Infinite One appeared to him in the form 
of a man, and talked quite familiarly with him, upbraiding him 
for eating so much, &c. 

Probably Ho medium, while subjected to the limitations of our 
earthly condition, can be implicitly trusted in what he may af- 
firm as to the identity of a spirit. *' It must not be supposed," 
says Delachambre, author of a *' System of the Soul," published 
in 1665, " that the form of the soul and of angels is fixed and 
determinate, like that of solid bodies : it is vague and change- 
able like that of the air and the liquids, which assume the form 
of all the solid bodies surrounding them ; and the difference is 
this, that the vivacity of the forms that upervene to the latter 


is of necessity, and that 'which is found in spiritual substances 
depends on their will ; for, as they move as they please all their 
parts, they also assume whatever form they desire." 

If spirits have this plastic power (and all the modern phenom- 
ena go to prove it), their capacities of deception as to identity 
may be far greater than we imagine. Perhaps our own spiritual 
insight, purity, and elevation must be the measure of our ability 
to detect spiritual impostors. Perhaps Supreme Wisdom inten- 
tionally keeps us unrelieved from the necessity of exerting our 
own faculties for the prosecution of truth. ** If God," says Less- 
ing, " should hold all truth inclosed in his right hand, and in 
his left only the ever-active impulse to the pursuit of truth, al- 
though with the condition that I should always and for ever err, 
and should say to me. Choose ! I should fall with submission 
upon his left hand, and say, * Father, give 1 Pure truth is for 
thee alone!*" 

A noble saying; offspring, we believe, of a profound insight 
into spiritual laws ; signifying that our own individuality and 
the great ends of our being are best promoted by that discipline 
which compels us to think for ourselves, do for ourselves, and 
seek light for ourselves ; seek it not only from the exercise of 
our meditative powers, but from communion with all good in- 
fluences and spirits and men. But if we think to find spirits 
who will relieve us of the trouble of exercising our own mental 
and moral faculties, we must not complain should we become 
the dupes of such as are unscrupulous, false, or fanciful. Good 
spirits, we may be sure, will not try to violate the laws of oui 
being by making us mere passive instruments under their con 
trol, thus taking from us all spiritual dignity and freedom. 



" Moreover, something is or seems, 
That teaches me with mystic gleams, 
Like glimpses of forgotten dreams, 
Of something felt, like something here ; 
Of something done, I know not where, — 
Such as no language may declare." — Tennyson, 

TT TE have said that the modern spiritual movement is leader- 
' ▼ less. This fact is one of its remarkable features. All 
attempts to identify any one man, or set of men, with any expo- 
sition of its principles, claiming to be authoritative, and accepted 
as such, have proved utter failures. Even organizations and 
conventions seem, by the necessity of their nature, too narrow 
for its ever-widening circles. The unprecedented progress of 
Spiritualism, numbering as it does its recipients by millions in 
the United States alone, is a success that is to no extent due 
to the concentration and exclusiveness of a creed, or to the ma- 
chinery of a sect. It has baffled all the calculations of those 
who believe there can be no efficient propagandism without a 
creed and an organization. 

All the arguments that could disaffect the worldly and alarm 
the timid, have been freely used to check its advance. With 
some few honorable exceptions, the learned and the influential 
have not only stood aloof, but have denounced it either as an 
imposture, or as a diabolical snare. Many persons, calling them- 
selves Spiritualists or mediums, have done all they could to give 
it a bad name by laying at its door their own offences against 
good morals, good English, or good taste. It has been stabbed 
in the house of its friends, as well as mobbed and maligned hy 



Its enemies ; and yet never did its great truths shine for so many 
eyes with an immortal lustre, as at this day. Never was it so 
secure in the triumphs of the future ; and never did it see Science 
herself so thoroughly rebuked and confounded by the over- 
whelming testimony by which it is upheld above the sneers of* 
the unthinking, and the arrogant hostility of those who decide 
without examining, and make their own experience the measure 
of God's truth. 

In France, when the news of the Rochester knockings began 
to make a noise, M. Latour, editor of the " Medical Union," who 
had experimented sufficiently to satisfy himself that they were 
not all fraud or delusion, wrote (May, 1853) as follows : ** What, 
then, is this phenomenon? Grand Dieu! I cannot hazard the 
least opinion on the subject. But this I will say, that science 
should seriously seek to produce these singular facts, to study 
and determine their laws, and divine their nature, if it is possible. 
What is there hidden in the discovery of these phenomena, and 
what is reserved for the future? If the scientific vjorld neglect 
and disdainfully deny them without experimenting^ they will fall 
into unworthy hands., and be obscured by exaggeration and en- 
thusiasm, and serve for the propagation of mystical practices : 
they will serve to nourish folly and credulity and charlatanry ; 
but if the savans wish it, they will perhaps find the germ of some' 
great discovery. To animate inert bodies, and make them obey 
the will, is, no doubt, repugnant to human reason. Two thou- 
sand years ago it was observed by hazard that a piece of amber, 
on being rubbed, had the property of attracting light bodies. 
This phenomenon, passed over by the science of the ancients, 
has now become the pivot on which turns modern science. Can 
human reason fully explain why the needle always turns towards 
the north? Does it know the intimate nature of magnetism, 
electricity, of caloric, of light? And, while regarding this table 
on whifch I write, I cannot help crying, as Galileo of old did of 
the universe, ^ And yet you turn* " 

The warning of this man of science to his brethren does not 
•eem to have bfeen heeded; and much that he predicted has un- 



doubtedly come to pass. Spiritualism has been tended and 
nursed by the lowly and unpretending ; and the stubborn facts 
that have been elicited are not now to be set aside. 

The man who has perhaps approached neaicest to the character 
of a leader of the spiritual movement in France, is M. Hippo- 
Ijte-L^on-Denizard Rivail, who, under the pseudonym of Allan 
Kardec, has had remarkable success, by his writings and teach- 
ings, in making a belief in the spiritual solution of the modern 
phenomena carry with it the Platonic doctrine, somewhat 
modified, of pre-existence and re- incarnation. Before Kardec, 
this ancient doctrine had been advocated by several of the 
French philosophers and mystics; by St. Simon, Prosper En- 
fantin, St. Martin, Fourier, Pierre Leroux; and, lastly, by Jean 
Reynaud, the literary associate of Leroux, and author of a re- 
markable work entitled ** Terre et Ciel," of which we shall have 
more to say. 

Kardec was born in Lyons, in 1804. A pupil of Pestalozzi, he 
became one of the propagators of the educational system of that 
distinguished reformer. Born of Catholic parents, Kardec gave 
much thought from an early age to the subject of religious re- 
form. In 1850, he began the examination of the American 
spiritual phenomena. Becoming convinced of their genuine- 
ness, he applied himself to the deduction of their philosophical 
consequences. In this task, he employed both the inductive and 
the deductive processes ; investigating phenomena, interrogating 
the supposed spirits through a great variety of mediums, and 
then examining the results by the light of his own reason and 
spiritual intuitions. The information thus procured he has con- 
densed and arranged methodically, adding his own remarks and 
explanations in a manner to distinguish them from the rest of 
the text. 

To his system he gives the name of Spiritt'sm, "The words 
Spiritualism, Spiritualist" he says, ** have a well-defined accep- 
tation : to give them a new' one by applying them to the doctrine 
of spirits, would be to multiply the causes, already so numerous, 
of amphibology. Properly speaking, Spiritualism is the oppo- 


site of materialism : whoever believes he has within him some- 
thing distinguished from matter, is a Spiritualist; but it may 
not follow that he believes in the existence of spirits, or in their 
communications with the visible world. To designate this latter 
belief, we employ, in place of the words Spiritualism^ Spiritual' 
ist, the words Spiritism, Spiritist." 

In 1858, Kardec established ** La Revue Spirite," a monthly 
magazine, which is still published. He is the author of several 
volumes, in which his peculiar doctrines are set forth in a re- 
markably clear, matter-of-fact style, methodical and precise, free 
from all mysticism and prolixity. One great cause of his suc- 
cess is perhaps his lucid, intelligible way of treating the pro- 
foundest questions relating to the dual nature of man. 

According to the doctrine * of Spiritism, the soul is the Intel* 
ligent principle which animates human beings, and gives them 
thought, will, and liberty of action. It is immaterial, individual, 
and immortal ; but its intimate essence is unknown : we cannot 
conceive it as absolutely isolated from matter, except as an ab- 
straction. United <o an ethereal or a fluid envelope ox perisprit, 
it constitutes the concrete spiritual being, determinate and cir- 
cumscriptive, called spirit. By metonymy, we often employ the 
words soul and spirit, the one for the other, speaking of happy 
souls or happy spirits, &c. ; but the word soul, according to Spir- 
itism, suggests the idea rather of an abstract principle, and the 
word spirit that of an individuality. 

The spirit, united to the material body by incarnation, consti- 
tutes the man; so that in man there are three things: the soul^ 
properly so-called, or intelligent principle; the perisprit, or 
fluid envelope of the soul ; the body^ or material envelope. The 
soul is thus a simple being ; the spirit, a double being, composed 
of the soul and the perisprit ; the man, a triple being, composed 
of the soul, the perisprit, and the body. The body, separated 
from the spirit, is inert matter ; the perisprit, separated from the 

* We an mdebted to " Le Dictionn'aira Universel " of Maurice Lach&tre for tht 
nibetiiiM of this etatement. 



soul, 18 a fluid matter without life or intelligence. " The soul if 
the principle of life and of intelligence. 

It is not true, therefore, as certain critics have pretended, that 
in giving to the soul a fluid, semi-material envelope, Spiritism 
has made of it a material being. 

The first origin of the soul is unknown, because the principle 
of things is one of the secrets of Omnipotence ; and it is not 
given to man, in his actual state of inferiority, to comprehend 
all. On this point, one can onlj formulate systems. According 
to some, the soul is a spontaneous creation of Divinity; accord- 
ing to others, it is a very emanation, a portion, a spark of the 
divine essence. The problem is one on which we can only estab- 
lish hypotheses, inasmuch as there are reasons for and against. 
* Against the second of these opinions, the following objection 
is brought : God being perfect, if souls are portions of Divinity, 
they ought to be perfect, by reason of the axiom that the part is 
of the same nature as the whole ; whence the question would 
arise. Why are souls imperfect and in need of further improve- 

Without stopping at the different systems touching the inti- 
mate nature and the origin of the soul. Spiritism considers it as 
it is manifested in the human race : it ascertains, by the proofs, 
of its isolation and of its action, independent of matter during 
life and after death, the great facts of its existence, its attributes, 
its survivance, and its individuality. Its individuality is shown 
in th^ diversity which exists in the ideas and .qualities of each in 
the phenomenon of the manifestations ; a diversity which im- 
plies for each a proper existence. 

A fact not less important is proved by observation : it is that 
the soul is essentially progressive, and that it makes acquisitions 
unceasingly in knowledge and in moral wisdom, since we find it 
at all stages of development. The almost unanimous teaching 
of spirits tells us it is created simple and ignorant; that is to 
say, without knowledge, without consciousness of good and of 
evil, with an equal aptitude for either, and for acquiring all. 

Creation being incessant, and from all eternity, there are souls 


arrived at the summit of the ladder when others are arriving at 
the consciousness of life ; but, all having the same point of de- 
parture, God creates no one of them better endowed than an- 
other, and this is in conformity with his sovereign justice: a 
perfect equality presiding at their formation, they advance more 
or less rapidly, by virtue of their free will, and according to the 
pains they take. God thus leaves to each the merit or demerit 
of his acts, and the responsibility increases as the moral sense 
develops. So that of two souls created at the same time, the 
one may arrive at a certain height more quickly than the other, 
if it labors more actively for its amelioration ; but those who lag 
behind have it equally in their power to reach that height, al- 
though not so soon, and after many rude experiences, for God 
does not shut the future to any of his children. ' 

The incarnation of the soul in a material body is, according to 
Spiritism, necessary to its improvement, by the labor which the 
corporeal existence demands, and the intelligence it develops. 
Not being able, in a single life, to acquire all the moral and intel- 
lectual qualities whieh are needed to conduct it to its goal, it ar- 
rives there in passing through an unlimited series of existences^ 
whether upon this earth or in other worlds^, in each of which it 
takes a step in the way of progress, and gets rid of some of its 
imperfections. Into every existence the soul brings what it hai 
acquired in its preceding existences. And thus is explamed the 
difference which exists in the innate aptitudes, and in the degree 
of advancement of races and people. 

According to Spiritism, the universe is an immense labora- 
tory, where humanity, "emanating from an ethereal fluid, 
becomes elaborated, individualizing itself by incarnation, puri- 
fying itself in bodies as in so many crucibles ; and, through a 
progressive advancement, by virtue of its inherent perfectibility, 
arriving finally at the state where it ii the crowning work of 
creation." ♦ 

* " La Ralson du Spirititme, par Michel Bonnamy. Paris : 1868." S«e, also, 
*' Du Spiritualisme Rationnel, par G. H. Love. Paris : 1863." A work by a man of 
science, in which the doctrine of pre-ejpstence and rs-incamatiofi is supported by aTgu> 
ments drawn from physical Acts. 



Such is the system of Spiritism in regar^ to the sours re- 
incarnation. It is claimed for it, that it reconciles to our 
notions of divine justice the fact of those striking differences, 
moral and intellectual, in human beings, from the very moment 
of birth. 

To its doctrine of pre-existence, it is objected, that it shifts 
the difficulty, but does not remove it ; for, go back as far as we 
may, we come at last to a point where we have two souls, sup- 
posed to have been created equal. Now, if in virtue of their 
free will, one of these souls takes a bias to good, and the other 
to evil, how can there have been perfect equality in their condi- 
tions, or in the temptations to which they were exposed ? Per- 
fect equality throughout ought to lead to an equality of results. 
Why, then, should one soul get the start of another in good- 

To this objection the Rev. Dr. Edward Beecher, the principal 
American advocate of the doctrine of pre-existence, replies, in 
his able "Conflict of Ages," as follows: "The real and great 
difficulty lies, not in the idea that free agents should sin, but in 
the idea that God should bring man into being with a nature 
morally depraved, anterior to any will, wish, desire, or knowl- 
edge of his own, or with a constitution so deranged and corrupt, 
as to tend to sin with a power that no man can overcome in 
himself or in others; and that, in addition to this, He should 
place him in a state of so great social disadvantage, and, as the 
climax, expose him, so weak, to the fearful wiles of powerful 
and malignant spirits. This difficulty, pre-existence does touch 
and entirely remove, by referring the origin of his depravity to 
his own action in another state, and showing that the system of 
this world is a system of sovereignty established over beings 
who have lost their original claims on the justice of God.* 

" If now a difficulty is alleged still to exist as to their first 

* Here Dr. Beecher diverges from the teachings of Spiritism, in his attempt to 
accommodate the theory of pre-existence to the demands of the Calvinistic theology. 
It will be seen that Origen believed that all our punishment here is remedial, and that 
there >• no qpirit so evil that he may not ultimately reform. 



sinning in a previous state, it is enough to .say that this is not 
the same difficulty that existed before, but altogether a different 
one ; that is, how beings, created with an uncorrupt moral con- 
stitution, and in a spiritual system arranged in the best possible 
manner to favor their perseverance in right, could possibly sin. 
Suppose, then, that this question is not answered, and cannot 
be (although I do not concede that it cannot) ; but suppose it. 
What then ? It merely leaves a mysterious fact ; but it does not, 
as in the former case, present an alleged fact, which the human 
mind can see to be within the range of its faculties, and to be 
positively unjust. It therefore removes a dispensation positively 
unjust, and, in place of it, presents one that is simply mys- 

" But it resorts to mystery in a proper place ; for, since the 
past history of the universe is not revealed in detail, nothing 
exists to forbid the idea that, whatever were the circumstances 
in which men sinned, and whatever were the reasons of their 
sinning, still they were such as in the highest degree to show 
forth the honor, justice, and love of God, and to throw the 
whole blame on man. What, then, if we cannot state exactly 
these circumstances and reasons? What if we cannot recon- 
struct the past history of each man ?• Still we know nothing, 
and we see nothing, to forbid a full belief, based on confidence in 
God, that, in all his dealings with them, he was honorable and 
just. . . . These disclosures of the BiUe settle the question as 
to the origin of evil. They no less clearly prove that the origin 
of the sin of man is not to be looked for in this world." 

Another reply to the objection may be, that we know not 
through what equalities of struggle and temptation all souls 
may have passed. The saint of to-day may have been a direful 
sinner in some previous state; and many of the differences 
among souls may be simply the result of the different number 
of disciplinary existences through which they have passed, some 
having entered on conscious life in advance of others. Should 
this view strike us as a humbling one, it may be none the less 
salutary on that account ; for why, when we think of it, should 



we merit it of Providence that we should be born with better 
propensities, or under more auspicious circumstances, than om 

The theological dogma that all the numerous millions of 
Adam's posterity deserve the ineffable and endless torments 
of hell for a single act of his, before any one of them existed, is 
admitted by all to be repugnant to that reason which God has 
given us ; subversive of all possible conceptions of justice. 
Even Pascal, Calvin, Mansel, and other orthodox writers, while 
accepting the terrible doctrine, admit thus much, substantially, 
as to its character, humanly considered ; but they escape from 
the difficulty, by assuming that we must not measure divine by 
human notions of justice ; that morality may be one thing on 
earth, and another in the heaven of heavens! 

With irresistible force has Mr. John Stuart Mill replied to this 
attempt to pacify faith at the expense of reason and the moral 
sense. He says, **Mr. Mansel combats as a heresy of his oppo- 
nents the opinion that infinite goodness differs only in degree 
from finite goodness. Here, then, I take my stand upon the 
acknowledged principle of logic and morality, Ma/ w/ten we 
mean different things, ive have no right to call them by the same 
name and to afply to them the same predicates, moral and intel- 
lectual. If, instead of the glad tidings that there exists a Being 
in whom all the excellences which the highest mind can con- 
ceive, exist in a degree, inconceivable to us, I am informed that 
the world is ruled by a Being whose attributes are infinite, but 
what they are we cannot learn, except that the highest human 
morality does not sanction them, — convince me of this, and 
J will bear my fate as I may. But when 1 am told that I must 
believe this, and at the same time call this Being by the names 
which express and affirm the highest human morality, I say in 
plain terms that I will not. Whatever power such a Being may 
have over me, he shall not compel me to worship him. • I call 
no being good who is not what I mean when I apply that epithet 
to my fellow-creatures ; and if such a Being can sentence me to 
hell for not so calling him, to hell I will go" 


Whittier has expressed similar sentiments, though in a ten- 
derer strain: — 

" Not mine to look when cherubim 

And seraphs may not see ; 
But nothing can be good in Him, 

Which evil is in me. 
The wrong that pains my soul below, 

I dare not throne above : 
I know not of His hate, — I know 

His goodness and His love." 

Kardec*s doctrine of pre-existence differs, it will have been 
seen, from that of those seers who proclaim the eternity as well 
as the immortality of the soul. Kardec believes in the unremit- 
ting exercise of the creative power of Deity. 

To many Spiritualists the doctrine of re-incarnation seems to 
be quite repulsive; though it is largely taught in communica- 
tions claiming to be from spirits. Mr. Shorter asks. What 
must be the thoughts of the pious mother who imagines the 
possibility that the infant at her breast is a graduate from the 
galleys or the prison! To this objection it may be retorted, 
What must be the thoughts of those pure-minded and faithful 
parents, who, in spite of all their parental care and affection, 
see their children turn out criminals or sensualists? Would a 
theory that exempted those parents from the dread that some- 
thing for which they themselves were responsible — something 
vicious in their own souls — had dragged those children down, 
be wholly unacceptable? 

"The prevalent idea with regard to spirits," says Kardec, 
" renders the phenomenon of their manifestation, at first sight, 
incomprehensible. These manifestations can only take place 
through the action of spirit upon matter, and therefore those 
who believe that spirit is the absence of all matter, ask, with 
some appearance of reason, how it can act materially. Now, 
here is precisely their error ; for spirit is not an abstraction : it is 
a defined being, limited and circumscribed. The spirit, clothed 
in the body, constitutes the soul; but when, at the hour of 



death, it quits the body, it is not divested of all envelopment 
All spirits tell us that they preserve the human form ; and, 
indeed, when they appear to us, it is in such forms as we can 

"Let us observe them attentively at the moment that they 
have quitted this life. They are in a state of perplexity ; all 
seems confused around them. On the one hand, they behold 
their body, whole or mutilated, according to the manner of 
death; on the other hand, they see and feel themselves alive. 
Something tells them that this body belongs to them, and they 
cannot understand being separated from it. They continue to 
see themselves in their original form ; and this sight produces 
amongst some of them, for a short time, a most singular illu- 
sion, — that of believing themselves still in the flesh. They re- 
quire to become accustomed to their new condition before they 
can be convinced of its reality. This first uncertainty being 
dispelled, the earthly body becomes to them an old garment 
which they have thrown off for ever, and which they no longer 
regret. They feel lighter, and as if relieved of a burden. They 
experience no longer physical pain, and rejoice in being able to 
rise and pass through space, as they sometimes fancied they did 
in their earthly dreams. 

"Nevertheless, notwithstanding the absence of their earthly 
body, they retain their personality. They possess a form, but 
one which neither impedes nor embarrasses them. In fact, they 
have still their individuality and consciousness of being. What, 
then, must we conclude? Briefly, that the soul leaves not all in 
the grave, but that she carries something away with her to her 
new home." 

According to Kardec, death is the disintegration of the mate- 
rial body which the soul abandons. The spiritual body, or 
ferisprit^ now disengages itself, and accompanies the soul 
which thus still finds itself "clothed upon." This new body, 
though fluid, etherenl, vaporous, and invisible to us in its nor- 
mal state, is as real -^s matter itself, though up to the present 
time we have been unable to seize and analyze it. 



This second envelope of the soul exists, then, during the 
corporeal life. It is the medium of all the sensations of which 
the spirit is conscious, and through which the spirit conveys its 
will to its exterior body, and acts upon the various organs. To 
use a material comparison, it is the electric wire which serves 
to receive and transmit the thought ; it is, in short, that myste- 
rious, imperceptible agent, spoken of as nervous fluid. To 
recognize this spiritual body, is to obtain the key to a multi- 
tude of problems hitherto unexplained. 

The spiritual body is not one of those hypotheses to which 
science sometimes has recourse to explain a fact. Its existence 
is not only revealed by spirits themselves, it is the result of ob- 
servation. Whether in the earthly body or out of it, the soul 
is never separated from its spiritual encasement. 

The spirit body, then, is an integral part of the man ; but this 
encasement alone is no more the spirit than the body alone is 
the man ; for the spiritual body cannot think : it is to the spirit 
what the body is to the man, the agent or instrument of his 
action. The human form and that of the spirit body are iden- 
tical; and when the latter appears to us, it is generally with 
that particular exterior with which we were formerly familiar. 
We might think from this that the spiritual body, though sepa- 
rate from all parts of the outer body, moulds itself in some way 
upon it, and preserves the impress of it ; but it appears that this 
is not the case. Making allowance for the organic modifica- 
tions necessitated by the surroundings in which men are placed, 
with the exception of some details, the human form (says 
Kardec) is to be found in the inhabitants of all worlds ; at least, 
60 say the spirits. It is, moreover, equally the form of all non- 
incarnate spirits, and those who have only the spirit body. 

It is the form in which, through all ages, angels and purified 
spirits have been represented, from which we may conclude that 
the human shape is the type of all human beings, in whatever 
state or worlds they may be found. But the subtle substance of 
the spirit body has not the tenacity nor rigidity of the material 
body. It is, so to speak, flexible and expansive, and therefore 




the form it takes, though traced or copied from that of the bodj, 
is not absolute : it bends itself to the will of the spirit. Freed 
from these fetters which confined it, the spirit bodj can extend, 
contract, or transform itself ; in a word, can lend itself to any 
metamorphosis, according to the will which acts upon it. It is 
through this property of its fluid encasement that the spirit 
which desires to make itself known can take, when necessary, 
the exact appearance it had when living, even to the bodily 
peculiarities, and the very style of dress, by which it can be 
recognized. We see, then, that spirits are beings like ourselves, 
forming around us a population, invisible to us in the normal 

But the spirit body, though fluid, is, nevertheless, a kind of 
matter, and this results in the facts of tangible apparitions. 
Under the influence of certain mediums, there have been seen 
hands, possessing all the properties and appearances of living 
hands, warm and palpable, which offer the resistance of a solid 
body, which will seize and hold you, and in a moment vanish 
again like a shadow. The definite action of these hands — 
which evidently obey a will in executing their movements^, and 
playing even on a musical instrument — prove that they are the 
visible parts of an invisible intelligence. Their tangibility, 
their temperature, and, in short, the impression they make on 
the senses, — for they have been known to leave an impress on the 
skin, to give blows so hard as to be painful, or caress most deli- 
cately, — prove that they are of some species of matter. Their 
instantaneous disappearance proves, moreover, that this matter 
is eminently subtle, and is of the nature of those substances 
which can alternately pass from the solid to the fluid condition, 
and vice-versd. 

As we have already seen. Spiritism teaches that the essen- 
tial nature of the spirit proper, that is, the thinking being, is 
entirely unknown to us. It reveals itself to us only by its acts, 
and its acts can aflect our material senses but through some 
intermediate substance. Thus the spirit requires matter to *act 
upon matter. It has, for its direct instrument, the spirit-form, 



just as man has the body; hence the spirit-form is matter, as 
we have seen. It has, further, the universal ether, a sort of 
vehicle on which it can act, as we act on the air, to produce the 
effects of dilation, compression, propulsion, and vibration. 

Looked at in this manner, the action of spirit on matter is, in 
Kardec*s philosophy, easily conceived; and hence it is to be 
understood that all the effects which result from it enter into the 
class of natural facts, and have in them nothing miraculous. 
They have appeared supernatural simply because their cause 
was unknown. This once known, the marvellousness disappears, 
and this cause is entirely in the semi-material properties of the 
spirit body. It is a new order of facts, which will find their 
explanation in a newly discovered law, and which will very 
shortly astonish us no more than does the intercourse now 
made possible through electricity. 

It may be asked, perhaps, how the spirit, with the help of so 
subtle a substance, can act upon heavy and compact bodies, lift 
tables, &c. Surely no man of science, says Kardec, would 
raise such an objection ; for, not to mention unknown proper- 
ties which this new agent may possess, have we not under our 
own eyes analogous examples ? Is it not in the most rarified 
gases and the imponderable fluids that industry has found its 
most potent motive powers? When we see the air overturn 
whole edifices, steam propel enormous masses, gaseous powder 
burst asunder mighty rocks, and electricity tear up trees and 
pierce the solid walls, what is there strange in allowing that a 
spirit, with the aid of its spirit body, can lift a table, especially 
when it is known that this spirit body can become visible, tan* 
gible, and exhibit the attributes of a solid body ? 

On the subject of pre-existence, Henry More, the Platonist, 
and the friend and correspondent of Descartes, writes (1659) 
as follows: "This consequence of our soul's pre-exislence is 
more agreeable to reason than any other hypothesis whatever ; 
has been received by the most learned philosophers of all ages, 
there being scarce any of them that held the soul of man im-? 
mortal upon the mere light of nature and reason, but asserted 


also her pre-existence ; that memory is no fit judge to appeal to 
in this controversy ; and, lastly, that traduction * and creation 
are as intricate and inconceivable as this opposed opinion.*' 

Among the advocates of pre-existence, More enumerates 
Zoroaster, Pythagoras, Epicharmus, Empedocles, Cebes, Eu- 
ripides, Plato, Virgil, Cicero, Hippocrates, Galen, Plotinus, 
Jamblichus, Proclus, Boethius, Psellus, Synesius, Origen, Mar- 
silius Ficinus, Cardan; and, lastly, the great authority of the 
scholastic period, Aristotle, who, in his treatise on the Soul, 
speaks of the body that the soul is to actuate; and, blaming 
those who omit that consideration, says, "that they are as care- 
less of that matter as if it were possible that, according to the 
Pythagoric fables, any soul might enter into any body ; whereas, 
every animal, as it has its proper species, so it is to have its 
peculiar form. * But those that define otherwise,' saith Aris- 
totle, * speak as if one should affirm that the skill of a car- 
penter did enter into a flute or pipe ; for every art must use its 
proper instrument, and every soul its proper body.* Whereas, 
as Cardan also has observed, Aristotle does not find fault 
with the opinion of the souFs going out of one body into 
another (which implies its pre-existence) ; but that the soul 
of a beast should go into the body of a man, and the soul of a 
man into a beast's body, — this is the absurdity that Aristotle 
justly rejects, while the other opinion he seems tacitly to 
allow of." 

Of Marsilius Ficinus, whom More reckons among the advo- 
cates of pre-existence, he relates that Marsilius had made a vow 
with his fellow-Platonist, Michael Mercatus, that the one who 
might die first should appear to his friend and confirm the truth 
of what they had often made a subject of discussion ; namely, 

* Tertullian taught what was called " material traducianism" according to which, 
life, having its source in the blood, was naturally transmitted from parent to ofi&pring. 
There was a spiritual traducianism " taught by another Christian school, according 
to which the soul of the offspring was engendered by tHe soul of the parent. Besides 
the Platonic doctrine of pre-existetice^ held by Origen, there was a fourth doctrine 
called creationism" according to which tlie Deity creates the soul for each indi- 
vidual body at or shortly after the moment when the body itself begins to exist 


the soul's immortality. Michael, being intent on his studies on a 
certain morning, heard a horse approaching with all speed, and 
observed that he stopped at the window ; and therewith heard 
the voice of his friend, Marsilius, crying out aloud, **0 Michael, 
Michael! vera, vera sunt ilia!" — O M/c/zael, Michael I those 
things are true, are true ! Whereupon Michael suddenly opened 
the window, and, espying Marsilius on a white steed, called 
after him ; but, as he looked, the apparition vanished. • Michael 
sent presently to Florence to inquire how Marsilius was, and 
learned that he died about the hour he had appeared at t ie 

Of Sir Henry Vane, the younger, Burnet says, *' His friends 
told me, he leaned to Origen's notion of a universal salvation 
of all, both of devils and the damned, and to the doctrine of 
pre-existence. When he saw his death was designed, he* com- 
posed himself to it with a resolution that surprised all who 
knew how little of that was natural to him." 

"It is not without reason," says Saint Martin (1743-1803), 
that we look upon the duration of this corporeal life as a time 
of chastisement and expiation ; but we cannot look upon it as 
such, without forthwith thinking that there must have been for 
man a state anterior and preferable to the one wherein he now 
finds himself, . . . Each of his sufferings is an index of the 
happiness wanting in him ; each of his privations proves that 
he was made for enjoyment ; and his present subjection an- 
nounces an ancient authority; in one word, to feel now that 
he has nothing, is a secret proof that once he had all. . . . As 
our material existence is not life, our material destruction is not 

Joseph Glanvil, to whose investigations into the facts of 
witchcraft and other spiritual phenomena we have already 
referred, published in 1662, but without his name, a treatise to 
prove the reasonableness of the doctrine of the pre-existence of 
souls. He was also the author of a letter, still in existence 
among the Baxter manuscripts, full of curious learning in 
defence of the doctrine. 



In Germany, Kant, Schelling, and Jul. MUUer, used the doc- 
trine of the metempsychosis to explain the beginning and root 
of sin in humanity. Herder, Lessing, Schubert, and Lichten- 
berg seem to have favored it. Van Helmont, the younger, who 
died in 1699, taught it in Holland. 

Herder has some remarkable dialogues on the subject of 
metempsychosis ; and, though the vein of them is tentative 
rather than dogmatic, it is easy to see the drift of his medita- 
tions. We quote a few passages : — 

** In nature every thing is related ; morals and phjsics, like 
body and spirit. Morality is only a more beautiful physique of 
the spirit. Our future destination is a new link in the chain 
of our being, which connects itself with the present link most 
minutely and by the most subtile progression, as our earth is 
connected with the sun, and the moon with our earth. . . . 

"Perhaps there are appointed for us places of rest, regions of 
preparation, other worlds in which, — as on a golden heaven- 
ladder, — ever lighter, more active and blest, we may climb 
upward to the fountain of all light, ever seeking, never reach- 
ing the centre of our pilgrimage, the bosom of the Godhead. 
For we are and must ever be limited, imperfect, finite beings. 
But wherever I may be, through whatever worlds I maj be led, I 
shall remain for ever in the hands of the Father who hath 
brought me hither and who calls me further; for ever in the 
infinite bosom of God. ... 

** Hereafter, when death shall burst these bonds, when God 
shall transplant us like fiowers into quite other fields, and sur- 
round us with entirely different circumstances, then Have 

you never experienced, my friend, what new faculty a new situa- 
tion gives to the soul? A faculty, which, in our old corner, in 
the stifling atmosphere of old circumstances and occupations, 
we had never imagined, had never supposed ourselves capa- 
ble of? . . . 

" The younger Van Helmont, in his * De Revolutione Ani- 
marum,' has adduced, in two hundred problems, all the sayings 
and all the arguments which can possibly be urged in favor of 



the return of souls into human bodies according to Jewish 
ideas. . . . These assert that the soul returns into life on this 
planet twice or thrice, — in extraordinary cases oftener, — and 
accomplishes what it had left unfinished. . . . And is there no 
weight in the arguments from reason in support of these ideas? 
Shall not the Long-suflfering and the Just give every one space 
and time for repentance? Has not the fruition of life been to 
many imbittered and abridged without any fault of their own ? 

"Look at the thing humanly: consider the fate of the mis- 
born, the deformed, the poor, the stupid, the crippled, the fear- 
fully degraded and ill-treated; of young children, who had 
scarce seen the light and were forced to depart. Take all this 
to heart, and you must either have weak conceptions of the 
progress of such people in the world to come, or they must first 
have wings made for them here, that they may learn to soar, 
even at a distance, after others; that they may be, in some 
measure, indemnified for their unhappy, or unhappily abbre- 
viated existence in this world. Promotion to a higher, human 
existence is scarcely to be thought of in their case. 

*'None can give as God gives, and no one can indemnify and 
compensate like God. To all beings he gave their existence of 
his own free love. If some appear to have been more neglected 
than others, has he not places, contrivances, worlds enough, 
where, by a single transplantation, he can indemnify and com- 
pensate a thousand-fold? A child prematurely removed, — a 
youth whose nature was too delicate, as it were, for the rude 
climate of this world, — all nations have felt that such are loved 
by the gods, and that they have transferred the treasured plant 
into a fairer garden. . . . How many may have been made 
happy in another world through having been unhappy here I " 

With regard to the Pythagorean notion of the transmigration of 
souls into the bodies of brute animals. Herder says, ** With some 
nations, — for example, the Egyptians and Hindoos; and per- 
haps, too, with Pythagoras, — it was designed as a moral fable, 
representing the doctrine of ecclesiastical penance in a sensuous 
and comprehensible form : " You who are cruel shall be changed 



into tigers, as even now you manifest a tiger-soul. You who 
are impure, shall be swine," &c. These representations, ad- 
dressed to the senses, and clothed with the authoritj of religion, 
would, undoubtedly, have a greater effect than metaphysical 

** Our language," says Herder, ** all communication of thought, 
what bungling work it is ! Hovering on the tip of our tongues, 
between lip and palate, in a few syllabled tones, our heart, our 
innermost soul would communicate itself, to another, so that he 
shall comprehend us, shall feel the ground of our innermost 
being. Vain endeavor I Wretched pantomime with a few ges- 
tures and vibrations of air ! The soul lies captive in its dun- 
geon, bound as with a seven-fold chain; and only through a 
strong grating, and only through a pair of light and air-holes, 
can it breathe and see. And always it sees the world on one 
side, while there are a million other sides beforie us and in us, 
had we but more and other senses, and could we but exchange 
this narrow hut of our body for a freer prospect. . , . 

" Sacred to me is the saying, * Blessed are the poor in spirit, 
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that 
mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the pure in 
heart, for they shall see God.* Purification of the heart, the 
ennobling of the soul, with all its propensities and cravings; 
this, it seems to me, is the true palingenesis of this life, after 
iv/tick, J doubt not, a happy^ more exalted^ but yet unknown 
metempsychosis awaits us* Herewith I am content." 

Schubert, a devoted Spiritualist, and who satisfied himself of 
the genuineness of the phenomena produced in the presence 
of Mrs. Hauff(^, the Seeress of Prevorst, wrote the " History of 
the Soul." His psychological views are not unlike those we 
have given in our abstract of Mr. Wake's recent work. Schu- 
bert shows, first, how the soul is, as it were, reflected in and by 
the body; how it gives form and perfection to our material 
organization. Next, entering upon the analysis of mind, he sets 
forth the distinction between the soul and the spirit; a distinc- 
tion which St. Paul seems to have recognized. Origen also 



regarded the soul as intermediate between body and spirit. In 
the Alexandrian philosophy, we have the pneutna denominated • 
as the rational soul, and the psyche as the sensitive soul, that 
which desires or lusts. Irenseus says, "There are three of 
which the perfect man consists : flesh, soul, spirit ; the one, the 
spirit, giving figure; the other, flesh, being formed. That, 
indeed, which is between these two is the soul, which some- 
times following the spirit is raised by it ; and sometimes con- 
senting to the flesh, falls into earthly lusts " Dr. George Bush 
held that the fineuma is to the psyche what the soul is to the 
body. The psyche is the spiritual body or body of the spirit. 
This view does not differ much from the teachings of Kardec. 

Schubert regarded the soul as the inferior part of our intel- 
lectual nature, — that which shows itself most distinctly in the 
phenomena of our dreams, — the power of which also is situated 
in the material constitution of the brain. Tke spirit, on the 
contrary, is that part of our nature which tends to the purely 
rational, the loflty, the divine I 

That profound and intrepid thinker, Lessing, who anticipated 
by a century much of the advanced thought of the present, re- 
marks as follows on this subject of pre-existence : " Why may 
not each individual man have existed more than once in this 
world? Is this hypothesis, th/erefore, so ridiculous because it is 
the oldest?* because it is the one which the human understand- 
ing immediately hit upon before it was distracted and weakened 
by the sophistry of the schools ? . . . Why should I not return, 
as often as I am able, to acquire new knowledges, new talents ? 
Is it because I carry away so much at one time as to make it not 
worth the while to return ? Or, because I forget that I have been 
here before ? It is well for me that I forget it. The remem- 
brance of my former states would allow me to make but a 
poor use of the present. Besides, what I am necessitated to for- 

* Delitzch pronounces this statement incorrect. Franck, on the other hand, says 
that metempsychosis was the earliest form in which the dogma of immortality pre- 
sented itself to the human mind. But again we find immortality, but no metempsycho* 
sis, in the most ancient poems of India, the *' Rig- Veda,'* for example. 



get now, have I forgotten it for ever? Or because, on this sup- 
position, too much time would be lost to me ? Lost ? What have 
I then to fear from delay? Is not ike whole eternity mine? " 

According to Herodotus, the Egyptians were the first to enter- 
tain the doctrine of metempsychosis. They believed that the 
soul was clothed successively with the forms of all the animals 
that live on the earth, and that it then returned, afler a cycle of 
three thousand years, into the body of a man to recommence its 
eternal pilgrimage. From them the Greeks may have received 
the idea, which was a leading feature of the doctrine of Pytha- 
goras, who claimed to recollect his former self in the person of a 
herald named ^thalides ; Euphorbus, the Trojan; and others; 
and he even pointed out, in the temple of Juno, at Argos, the 
shield he used when he attacked Patrocius. He taug^ht that after 
the rational mind of man is freed from the chains of the body, it 
assumes an ethereal vehicle, and passes into the regions of the 
dead, where it remains till it is sent back to this world to be the 
inhabitant of some other body, human or brutal ; and that after 
suffering successive purgations, when it is sufficiently purified, 
it is received among the gods, and returns to the eternal source 
from which it first proceeded. 

Ritter says that the sum of the Pythagorean doctrine of im- 
mortality was this, — that condition would accurately /bllow char- 
acter. Pletho states that the Pythagoreans, as the Platonists 
after them, conceived the soul to be a substance not wholly 
separate from all body, nor wholly inseparate; but partly separ- 
ate, partly inseparate, separable potentially, but ever inseparate 

The later Pythagoreans maintained that the soul has a life 
peculiar to itself, which it enjoyed in common with demons or 
spirits before its descent to the earth, and that there must be a 
degree of harmony between the faculties of the soul and the form 
which it assumes : this last is also the idea of Swedenborg. 

Plato, in his "Phaedo," maintains pre-existence of the soul be- 
fore it appears in man; and of this pre-existent condition it 
retains dim reminiscences; and after death, according to its 

Plato's doctkinb. 


peculiar qualities, it seeks and chooses another body. Everj^ 
soul, according to him, returns to its original source in ten 
thousand years. After completing each life, it spends a thou* 
sand years in the spiritual world in a condition corresponding to 
that life, after which it passes into a new body corresponding to 
its ethical quality. 

"Plato's conception of the immortality of the soul," says 
Grote, " includes pre-existence as well as post-existence ; a per- 
petual succession of temporary lives, each in a distinct body, 
each terminated by death, and* each followed by renewed 
life for a time in another body. In fact, the pre-existence of the 
mind formed the most important part of Plato's theory about im- 
mortality ; for he employed it as the means of explaining how the 
mind became possessed of general notions. Not all learning, 
but an important part of learning, consists in reminiscence ; not 
indeed of acquisitions made in an antecedent life, but of past ex- 
perience and judgments in this life. Of such experience and judg- 
ments every one has travelled through a large course; which 
has disappeared from his memory, yet not irrecoverably. Por- 
tions of it may be revived, if new matter be presented to the 
mind, fitted to excite the recollection of them, by the laws of 

According to Socrates, priests, priestesses, and poets (Pindar 
amotig them) tell us that the mind of man is immortal, and has 
existed through all past time in conjunction with successive 

The idea of metempsychosis re-appears in the speculations of 
the Neo-Platonists, in the cabala of the Jews, and in the teach- 
ings of some of the Church Fathers. Porphyry conceives that it 
is to expiate sins committed in a pre-existent state that we are 
now clothed with a body, and that as our conduct was more or 
less culpable we assume more or less material bodies. By fulfill- 
ing exactly and with resignation the duties imposed upon us, we 
return by degrees through the state of heroes, angels, archangels, 
&c., to the Supreme Being. There is also a descending scale of 
diabolical life. 



The Cabalists thought that the destiny of everjr soul was to 
return into mystical union with the divine substance, but that in 
order to do this it must 'first develop all the perfections of which 
it has the germ within itself. It is sent through life after life till 
it acquires all the virtues possible to it. 

Origen, bom at Alexandria, a.d. 185, distinctly maintains 
the doctrine of metempsychosis, and finds in it the final cause of 
creation. In his view, according to Gieseler, the Godhead can 
never be idle. Before the present world there was an endless 
series of worlds, and an infinite succession of them will follow. 
All intellectual beings were originally created alike; but the/ 
were never without bodies, since incorporeal ity is a peculiar pre- 
rogative of Deity. After a great moral inequality had arisen 
among them by their diflference of conduct, God created the 
present world, which affords a dwelling-place to all classes in 
proportion as they answer their moral condition. The fallen in- 
tellectual beings he put into bodie& more or less gross, according 
to the measure of their sinfulness. Still they all retain their 
moral freedom, so that they may rise again from the degraded 
circumstances in which they exist. Even the punishments of the 
condemned are not eternal, but only remedial ; the devil himself 
being capable of amelioration and pardon. When the world 
shall have answered its purpose as the abode of fallen spirits, it 
will then be destroyed by fire ; and by this very fire souls will be 
completely purified from all stains contracted by intimate union 
with the body. But as spirits always retain their freedom, they 
may also sin again, in which case a new world like this will be 
again necessary ; the earths to which incarnated spirits are sent 
corresponding to their moral condition. 

Evil, according to Origen, is the only thing which has the 
foundation of its being in itself and not in God, and which is, 
therefore, founded in no being, but is nothing else than an es- 
trangement from the true Being, and has only a subjective and 
no objective existence at all, and is in itself nothing. Therefore, 
he says, "The proposition of the Gnostic, that Satan is no 
creature of God, has some truth for its foundation ; namely, this, 



that Satan, in respect to his nature, is a creature of God, but not 
as Satan." 

Origen set his theory of the pre-existence of souls in opposi- 
tion to creationism, which supposed individual souls to arise 
from the immediate act of creation on the part of God; for this 
theory appeared to him irreconcilable with the love and justice 
of God, which maintains itself equally towards all his creatures; 
and also in opposition to the traducianism of Tertullian, for this 
theory appeared to him too sensuous. 

He infers a moral destiny of the embryo, originating in a pre- 
existent state, from this fact, among others ; namely, that Jacob 
and Esau, while yet unborn, and prior to all earthly agency, are 
objects respectively of divine love and hate. 

The doctrine of the transmigration of souls as a means of pen- 
ance was held by the Manicheans. It also existed among the 
ancient Italians, the Celtic Druids, the Scythians and Hyperbo- 
reans, and is still entertained. by the heathen nations of Eastern 
As.a, the Caucasian, and other tribes. Coupled with the notion 
of transmigration into the bodies of brutes, among the ancient 
Egyptians it led, as it still does with the Hindoos, to the venera- 
tion of certain animals, and the fear of eating their flesh, since 
their bodies may be the abode of departed ancestors and friends. 
The Pythagoreans would not kill animals, for the same reason. 

Origen's notion of earths being created to correspond with the 
moral status of the spirits sent to be re-incarnated upon them, 
has been recently reproduced in the speculations of an English 
clergyman, the Rev. William Hume-Rothery, who furnishes the 
following statement of his views on the subject : — 

"From the all-good and all-wise Being, who is the only 
Creator, nothing of evil and misery can possibly proceed. Yet 
in this world, to go no further, we do find an awful amount of 
wickedness and wretchedness ; and in nature itself, which none 
but God can produce and preserve, there are deadly poisons, 
savage and disgusting animals, famines and pestilences, &c., 
which certainly,, according to the judgment that God has given 
us, are evils and blemishes in his creation. Now, as there it 



but one Creator, a Being of spotless puritj and absolute wisdom, 
how can evils and malformations and embodied savagery and 
consuming maladies and the entire family of wrongs come into 
existence ? 

"This is the explanation: God, in making man, endows him 
with free will, which is essential to manhood. "By virtue of free 
will, man can live either according to the will of the Creator, or 
he can disobey this ever-righteous will. So far as he obeys the 
Creator's will, to that extent he is orderly and happy. But so 
far as he opposes the divine will, in that same deg^ree are con- 
fusion and misery introduced into his life and world. The soul, 
consisting of the will and understanding, is the primary creation, 
being that which is usually denominated spirit; the body, which 
is the soul itself developed into a bodily form, is the next pro- 
ceeding creation; and the world, comprising the three kingdoms 
of nature, with all objects of the senses, is the ultimate ground 
of creation, which usually goes by the name of mattery in which 
the states of the soul are brought down, spread out, and revealed 
in a region of space and time. Thus the soul, the body, and 
their world are a great unit of life, which assumes form in three 
different degrees or planes, but is distinctly one. Thus, too, 
spirit and matter, or life and its embodiments, or, which is ex- 
actly the same, life and its phenomena, are the beginning and 
the ending of a human being ; and all the evils and disfigure- 
ments in nature, and all its blessings and beauties, are the em- 
bodiments and revealments of blessings and curses in the soul of 
man ; good, both vital and phenomenal, flowing from harmo- 
nious co-operation with the Lord ; and evil, both spiritual and 
natural, being produced by man's violation of the inflowing 
creative life of God. 

** Such is the universal order of creation. Every natural world 
in the universe is the effectuated life and outward revelation of a 
world of created beings. Dream-land is thus created. All poet- 
ical imagery is brought forth after this manner. The wild fan- 
cies of the drunkard, which are called deliriur^ tremens^ burst 
into existence in this way. The phenomena, of death owe their 


birth to corresponding changes of mental state. The human 
soul — willing and thinking here on the lowest platform of life, 
viz., that of effects — when indrawn by the Lord into a deeper 
ground of affection and thought, viz., that of causes, is evolved 
into a corresponding body and a corresponding world, in which 
latter its inmost states are represented in detail, as in the body 
they are represented in the sum." 

On the subject of pre-existence, Cudworth, in his " Intellectual 
System" (1678), remarks: " It is well known that, according to 
the sense of antiquity, these two considerations were always in- 
cluded in that one opinion of the soul's immortality; namely, 
its pre-existence as well as its post-existence. Neither were 
there ever any of the ancients before Christianity, that held the 
souFs future permanency after death, who did not likewise assert 
its pre-existence, — they clearly perceiving that if it was once 
granted that the soul was generated, it could never be proved 
but that it might be corrupted. And therefore the assertors of 
its immortality commonly began here, — first, to prove its pre- 
existence, proceeding thence afterwards to establish its perma- 
nency after death." 

" To admit," says Schopenhauer (1820), ** that that which has 
not existed during an infinite period, must yet continue to exist 
during all eternity, is certainly a very bold hypothesis. That 
only which has had no commencement, or is truly eternal, can 
alone be indestructible. The Hindoos are more consistent. 
While they admit a continuation of existence after death, they 
also believe in a life anterior to our birth in this world, and de- 
clare that all which is, is eternal." 

On the contrary, Irenaeus dogmatically remarks : If any per- 
son maintain that those souls which only began a little while 
ago to exist cannot endure for any length of time, but that they 
must on the one hand either be unborn in order that they may 
be immortal ; or, if they have had a beginning in the way of gen- 
eration, that they should die with the body itself, — let them 
learn that God alone, who is Lord of all, is without beginning 
and without end " 



« Christianity," says Mr. J. W. Jackson, " notwithsUnding tiic 
large infusion* of Hellenism by which it is characterized, is still 
so essentially Judaic in some of its aspects, that it has never yet 
dared to promulgate the great Platonic veracity of pre-existence 
(the necessary correlate of post-existence), save in connection 
with its founder, the presumable incarnation of the eternal 
Logos. . . . Will a logically and metaphysically trained people 
be satisfied with the absurd assurance that an everlasting exist- 
ence can have had a beginning in time? . . . The Christian will 
have to learn that his boasted doctrine of immortality is but a 
half-truth, the mere hemisphere of the sublime veracity that man, 
like his divine Father, is not only immortal but also eternalJ* 

With regard to the objection that so much must be obliterated 
from man's memory before he can be born with his anterior ex- 
periences all a blank, it may be answered that the facts of som- 
nambulism and double consciousness offer numerous analogies 
with such a dispensation. Every experienced physiologist must 
know instances wherein whole tracts of memory, extending 
through periods of many years, have, by physical accident or 
disease, been suddenly obliterated, and, after a long suspense, 
been as suddenly restored. The cases are numerous of aged 
persons, who, in their dying moments, have been able to con- 
verse in languages which they had utterly forgotten since their 
early childhood. 

. It may be interesting to note what the great Swedish seer has 
to say on this subject of pre-existence. Swedenborg's explana- 
tion is as follows : " It is not allowed that any angel or spirit 
should speak with man from his own memory, but only from 
the man's. If a spirit were to speak with a man from his own 
memory, the man would appropriate the spirit's memory as his 
own, and his mind would become confused with the recollection 
of things he had never experienced. In consequence of the 
memories of spirits getting muddled with men's, some of the 
gifckmts conceived the idea that they had existed in another realm 
tUW'iT their birth on earth. Thus they accounted for the 
^loggBg^Bli of memories which they were sure had not originated 
fc«*«ty experience." 

cahagnet'a thbory. 


This law, it is suggested, will serve as a reply to the frequent 
complaint that in spiritual communications we have nothing 
new or extra-human. 

It is the theory of Andrew Jackson Davis, the highly esteemed 
American seer, that memory is something more than a mental 
faculty of registration ; that the mind is a compound of eternal 
principles, each of which being from God, and of God, is self- 
intelligent, from which intelligence memory is inseparable. 
Thus, Davis holds the doctrine of the pre-existence of the 
psychical principle, though not of that of the individualized 
spirit. He teaches that all souls existed from the beginning 
in the divine soul ; all individuality which is, has. been, or will 
be, had its pre-existence, has its present existence in creative 
being." Thus our soul-matter " had an existence, but not a 
conscious existence, before we came on this earth. But may we 
not say the same of all " soul - matter," whether of men or 
brutes ? 

M. Cahagnet. author of " Arcanes de la Vie Future D^voil^," 
bases his pneumatology on communications supposed to be 
from spirits, and obtained through clairvoyants and somnambu- 
lists. He admits pre-existence, but no re-incarnation. It is his 
theory that all the souls in the universe were created by God at 
once, and are eternal, as well as immortal ; that they were all 
placed in worlds of perfect happiness, but yet not with all their 
affections and faculties called forth ; and that they are sent down 
to worlds of material life for discipline, and to make them the 
better appreciate the heaven which they will soon regain ; for 
without experi^ce of evil they cannot properly estimate the 

He does not admit the notion of the non-existence of space 
and time in the spirit-world ; says that if spirits occupied no 
space, they would be nothing ; and if there were no time, there 
could be no succession of events. These errors, he says, arise 
from the fact that the rapid action of spirits is incalculable by 
our time. It is also an error that spirits can be in several places 
at the same time ; but they can transfer themselves from place 




to place with such speed, and can communicate with other 
spirits in such rapid succession, that it seems to take place at 
once. A spirit can see the whole of his existence in a moment, 
as has been experienced repeatedly by drowning persons. Sir 
Humphrey Davy, while under the effect of the nitric-oxide gas, 
exclaimed, The whole human organism is an assemblage of 

In our remarks on fsyckomeiryy in a future chapter, this sub- 
ject will be considered further. 

In his " Conflict of Ages," Dr. Edward Beecher advocates the 
doctrine of pre-existence in the interests of the " Orthodox" 
theology, and in the hope of removing the causes of paralysis 
and division from our common Christianity." We have seen 
(page 303) that in many of the communications supposed to 
come from spirits, moral evil is regarded as a means of educa- 
tion. In the philosophy of Hegel (where "each his dogma 
finds a similar view is taken of sin, as being not only inci- 
dent to human nature, but one of the appointed means of its 
development and advancement. Origen, too, regarded all 
God's penalties as simply remedial, and believed in the ulti- 
mate restoration of all souls. But to these views the large 
majority of Christian theologians are, as we have seen, opposed. 
Dr. Beecher himself says, "The multitudes who are saved owe 
eternal life to the free grace of God. All who are lost perish 
entirely by their own original revolt from God, persisted in duf 
ing this life" 

^ Again he remarks, " It has been conceded repeatedly, that the 
acts ascribed to God, in his dealings with the human race 
through Adam, do appear dishonorable and unjust, according 
to any principles of equity and honor which God has made the 
mind of man to form. And yet, simply on the basis of Rom. v. 
12-19, and without any adequate search for a more legitimate 
mode of interpretation, good men have for ages gone on to 
ascribe these acts to God. . . . Notice, then, the full confession 
of the great body of the Church, that the only defence against 
the charge of doing this has been the theory that all men had 



forfeited their rights as new-created beings, by * an act over which 
they had not the slightest control, and in which they had no 
agency,' and which took place before they existed ; and also the 
confession of Calvin, that nothing 4S so remote from common 
sense as this defence ; and of Pascal, that nothing appears so 
revolting to our reason. . . . And, now, is it nothing practical 
that pre-existence can deliver the Church at once from such a state 
of things f*^ 

Dr. Beecher is solicitous for the deliverance of the Church 
from a dilemma that outrages his reason. But a deliverance 
that would still require the hypothesis of an eternity of hell tor- 
ments for nine-tenths of the human race, is hardly an improve- 
ment on the theology that would make us all subject to damnation 
because of the sin of Adam. Reason asks for a more " practi- 
cal ** exhibition than that which Dr. Beecher's plan would sup- 
ply of the resdurces of Infinite Wisdom and Love. 

It is with a sense of relief, therefore, that we turn from his 
ingenious attempt to extenuate the theological notion of eternal 
damnation by grafting on it the doctrine of pre-existence, to the 
celebrated Terre et Ciel " (Earth and Heaven) of Jean-Ernest 
Reynaud (born 1806). This eloquent writer goes far to exhaust 
both the theological and the philosophical argument in behalf 
of pre-existence. He believes in the continuity of human life 
through successive incarnations, with the perpetual progress of 
nature and of man towards God, always infinitely removed. 

In no other work on the subject are the objections to pre- 
existence so ably met, or the theory itself made so attractive by 
the charms of a persuasive style and by appropriate exposi- 
tions, scientific, historical, and religious. 

" Terre et Ciel " has been ably reviewed, if not answered, by 
M. Caro in his '^I^tudes Morales sur le Temps Present;" and 
has called forth the denunciations of some of the doctors and 
bishops of the Church. To these Reynaud has replied in a man- 
ner to indicate that, in theological discussion, he is entirely 
at home. He shows that the Church has left this subject of pre- 
existence an open question; and that St. Augustine himself, 



who is sometimes quoted against it, had not, in his old age, 
made up his mind in regard to it. 

Rejnaud utterly rejects the theological notion of hell. This 
earth he regards as a specimen of the only kind of hell to which 
God will subject his children, and the object of his placing us 
here is not penal, but disciplinary and with a view to progress. 
Reynaud does not agree with Origen that we are here in the 
waj of a descent from what we have been in an anterior life. 
On the contrary, we are here in an ascending^ passage. 

" We are not," says Reynaud, " sinners because we are the 
sons of Adam : we are the sons of Adam because we are sin- 
ners." It may be more gratifying to our self-love to think that 
we are suflfering here through the fault of Adam rather than 
through our own ; but T)y such a sentiment we derog^ate from 
divine justice. 

From the infinity of the universe, Reynaud argues in favor of 
his system. The infinity of creation is an earnest of the immor 
tality of intellectual beings. The very g^eat and the very little 
are both conditioned alike in view of infinity. Strong in the 
consciousness of our spiritual dignity, we may feel ourselves 
superior to all merely material grandeurs, however stupendous, 
and we may look upon the vortices of the firmament, with its 
systems behind systems, with the same regard that we look on 
whirlwinds of dust. 

Let us not suppose that these immense separations between 
planetary worlds and systems, which, in view of the velocity of 
our freed spirits, have hardly the thickness of partitions, are 
insuperable abysses. It is not to the soul that they are barriers, 
but only to those organs to which our souls are temporarily 
united. All these worlds are but one for the immortal soul. 
Thanks to that infinity in which mere plurality is lost, the 
principle of unity, overshadowed for an instant by that of 
number, re-assumes the plenitude of its empire; and, as there 
is but one God, there is but one heaven. The fixity of this 
heaven is in the unalterable order of its changes ; its incorrupti- 
bility is in its permanence ; its immateriality is in the immensity 



of its extent. And this earth which we tread under our feet; 
where we come, turn by turn, to accomplish our task, in com- 
pany with our kind ; upon which we appear, without remember- 
ing whence we come ; from which we disappear, without knowing 
whither we go ; where we live, without being able to say with 
certainty who or what we are, — this earth rolls through the 
heavens, is one of the elements of the heavens, and constitutes 
us residents of the heavenly expanse. Let us give back to re- 
ligion the eloquent words which Kepler, breaking through the 
vaults of the antique firmament, traced as a line of light in his 
"Harmonies," to illumine astronomical science for ever: Hoc 
entm coslnm est^ in quo vivimus et movemur et sutnus, nos et omnia 
mundana corpora^ — "For this is heav^, in which we live and 
move and are, we and all mundane bodies." 
The lot assigned to us on earth, Reynaud tells us, is far more 
. tolerable than that which would be ours in the theological 
heaven, were it out of our power to aid still in mitigating suffer- 
ing and evil ; for here, in spite of all the obstacles that impede 
us, we are free at least to yield to the noble instinct which bids 
us help all suffering creatures ; free to expect confidently from the 
bounty of God the end of all that evil, the view of which afflicts 
us. The thought of relatives, friends, fellow-creatures, suffering 
in hell while we, on our heavenly heights, had no power to help 
them, would be like that paralysis we have in nightmare, when 
we cannot move to avert some terrible danger, and when we 
strive to cry out in our despair. Such a state would itself be 
the most frightful of punishments ; and so Reynaud repudiates 
the common theological notion of hell as blasphemous, revolt- 
ing, unsound. 

"While waiting," says Reynaud, "the illuminations of the 
higher life, I content myself with concluding, from the ordinary 
simplicity of Providence in the execution of his designs, that 
the souls of the departed will find themselves carried where 
their merits or demerits may make it fitting, by means as easy 
and spontaneous as those which govern matter; mounting of 
their own accord to a higher condition or descending to a lower^ 



conformably to fhe rules of justice, in the same manner m 
bodies, by reason of their variations in weig^ht, mount or descend 
in our atmosphere. . . . 

" If, in the succession of the various phases of our immo^ 
tality, repose may sometimes become the recompense of the 
just, it must be on condition of its being but a transient alterna- 
tive; a refreshment, as it were, after fatigtie, and serving to 
repair the strength for new and nobler eflforts." 

In opposition to the general theological notion, he maintains 
that the superior life, instead of being one of passive beatitude, 
will be one of sovereign activity; and the more active, the more 
elevated it is ; that is to say, the more nearly akin to that divine 
model whose life overflows with an indefatigable activity through 
all the worlds.* 

"And so heaven is not a permanent dwelling: it is a road; 
and the celestial hierarchy which fills it, ascends unceas- 
ingly, like a column of incense. But what fate awaits us at 
the extremity of this road? And what is the end of all this 
movement? Is it God, within whose abysses souls go succes- 
sively to merge themselves, as the theologians of Bouddha, in 
their insensate mysticism, have dreamed; and not only they, 
but many others, who, even under the discipline of the Church, 
misled by an imaginary love of God, have fallen into a like 
spiritual suicide? 

*' It is just here that Christianity triumphs; for on this capital 
question it is Christianity alone that gives us the true lesson. 
No, says this superior religion : it is not God who occupies 
this mysterious summit; it is God and man together; it is the 
simultaneous type of the two natures ; it is the God-Man ; and, 
if the theologian will have his own expression, it is the divine 
exemplar, Jesus Christ. And so, even at this inaccessible sum- 

* Reynaud's language here reminds us of a remarkable passage in the writings of 
Origen, where he attributes all existence, whether of men or of the lower animals, to ** the 
exuberant fulness of life in the Deity, which, through the blessed necessity of hia 
communicative nature, empties itself into all possibilities of beings as into so many 



mit) it is always man; man conceived by faith in the double 
perfection of his personal development and of his personal 
union with the second hypostasis; man, finally, such as he is 
when in perfect accord with and well - pleasing to God. Man 
is therefore the master of his own endless elevation. At any 
degree in his sublime ascension, neither does his personality, 
nor his activity, nor his perfectibility have a tendency to be 
engulfed and lost ; for always, high above him, he sees the ideal 
of man, the ineffable archetype of creation, the common model 
of' all the free beings of the universe. . . . 

**But shall friends and relatives be re-united? Nothing can 
prevent our so ordering our existences as to travel for ever in 
company, through the abysses of the universe, with all those 
we love. 

" Friends, relatives, parents, if you have profoundly at heart 
the wish not to lose one another by death, bind yourselves to- 
gether in the same life, the same morality, and the same hopes ; 
and you will rejoin one another there above, even as you were 
associated here. ... 

Even in our birth we are free, for it is we who determine the 
conditions. If we resemble our parents, it is because we resem- 
bled them virtually before we were born. If we find ourselves 
in prosperous or adverse circumstances, it is because these are 
such as are best adapted to our progress and our needs. Let us 
be consoled therefore in the thought that there is no fatality 
weighing upon us ; that there are no evils to which we are now 
subjected, from which we may not, by the good government of 
our actions, deliver ourselves radically at death." . . . 

But what shall we say of our ignorance f " Not only is 
memory powerless in regard to the times that preceded our 
birth into this world, but it is not capable of representing to us 
even the times that followed that event. It tells us nothing 
of the period passed at the maternal bosom. It fails us in a 
multitude of instances. Beyond the cradle all is as dark as be- 
yond the tomb.' . . . 

"And yet who shall venture to say that our being may not 



contain within its profundities the wherewith to illumine some 
day all those spaces successivelj traversed bjr us since our first 
hour? Do we not find, even in the experiences of this present 
life, that certain recollections, which seemed absolutely extin- 
guished, revive all at once, and render back to us a past which 
we had supposed lost for ever?" 

The facts of Spiritualism, as we ^hall see in a succeeding 
chapter, abundantly confirm the hypothesis here suggested. 
And, were it not so, is it so certain that our ideMtity is abso- 
lutely dependent on the formal presentations of our memory f 
" Do we," says Pierre Lerouz, " in any phenomenon whatsoever 
of our lives, have at the same time memory of all preceding phe- 
nomena?" No, he replies: we are then occupied with a certain 
object, and our anterior life escapes us ; and memory is but a 
past fact of our life perceived by us as present. Therefore our 
identity, our personality, our eg'o, is not a product of memory. 
To remember is but an accidental phenomenon of this ego, the 
same as to perceive, to see, to judge, &c. . . . "But why," asks 
Chaseray, " may not the memory, like the attention, the medita- 
tive faculty, the judgment, like all the intellectual faculties we 
possess, and like all the new ones we may acquire, follow the law 
of progress, and, from life to life, go on improving and gaining 
in extent?" Analogy shows that this may well be. 

We continue our quotations from Jean Reynaud : — 

"That astonishing faculty then which we call memory, is of a 
nature to preserve for us in the depths of our being, and un- 
known to ourselves, impressions which, from the fact of their 
having momentarily ceased to be disposed in a manner to come 
up at our appeal, continue none the less to make part of our do- 
main, where they abide, as it were, dormant; and hence, whv 
should it not be the same with the action of this faculty in 
regard to events which have preceded the actual period of our 
existence here? . . . 

** The body, through the senses with which it is furnished, 
is needed for conveying impressions to the soul ; but as to the 
preservation of those impressions, that is no longer the body's 



affair. It is the soul which has received ; it is the soul which 
keeps them. 

" Our own experience offers confirmation of the fact. Is there 
in the organs, by means of which we are to-day in communica- 
tion with the universe, I will not say simply a single molecule, 
but a single form, which belonged to the organs which served us 
in infancy? Since that period, how many bodies has not our 
vital faculty taken to itself, used, dissipated ! And yet, in spite 
of all these mutations, does not the soul preserve its memory? 
How many things there are on which I had not thought for 
years, which I had let fall completely from my remembrance, 
but which, all at once, in association with places or with per- 
sons, or roused by an effort of attention, start up and re-appear 
to me I Is there not here an indication of what may be produced 
hereafter in sublime proportions ? 

"Notwithstanding those apparent interruptions of such mo- • 
ment to us, and which the vulgar in trembling call deaths our 
life, considered not in its earth-bound span of a day, to which 
the prejudices of our education reduce it, but in tts infinite line, 
is in reality as continuous in all its development as in the short 
period laid bare to us between the cradle and the tomb. . . . 

** In admitting even what our present experience may lead us 
to conclude in regard to the suspension of all remembrance of 
anterior existences, — this, namely, that death must produce on 
unprepared natures the effect of a heavy blow, and that, in strik- 
ing, it stuns the memory, — yet to stun it, is not to annihilate it. 
After a suspension of days, months, or years, the memory may 
recover itself. The fact that we may have no reminiscence of 
anterior existences now is no reason why we may not have it at 
some future time. . . . , 

*' Each one of us carries in his actual form and organism the 
secret history of his anterior emotions ; so accurately, that spirit- 
ual eyes, penetrating to the depths of our being, see at a glance 
all that we have been in all that we are. 

"Our history therefore is not only in that Book of Life which 
theologians put in the hands of God ; it is inscribed in our very 



substance ; our being itself is the unfailing record we carry with 
us, from stage to stage, through the -worlds. . . . 

" It is wholly arbitrary to suppose that immortality preserves 
life without preserving at the same time the faculty of repentance 
equally with all others. The quibbles by which we may try to 
justify the hypothesis of the abandonment of the damned, may 
be employed with equal force to support the idea that God ought 
to abandon, without remission, every culpable soul, even in this 
life. The culpable soul is not blinded more irremediably after 
having passed through death than it was before ; for death is but 
an accident, as incapable of changing the nature of the soul as of 
changing the disposition of God. That which the soul was on 
the eve of death, it will be the next day. . . . 

" In reflecting on the spectacle of the universe, such as it pre- 
sents itself to us from the point of view of modern times, it seems 
• to me that the mind is naturally disposed to conclude that there 
must exist a first series of worlds more or less analogous to this 
earth, in which the souls of men, at their entrance on the limit- 
less career which opens before them, still frail and not attaching 
themselves firmly enough to the laws of duty, find themselves 
exposed to the discipline of temptation, succumb to it or else 
triumph over it; little by little advance, in the way of ameliora- 
tion, from one world to another, in the midst of trials always 
proportioned to the degree of feebleness and culpability, and 
arrive at last, after labors more or less prolonged, at the merit 
of being admitted into the worlds of the higher series. There 
shall be accomplished the definitive deliverance from all evil : 
the love of the good shall henceforth be so paramount that no 
one shall lapse from it; but all, on the contrary, animated by the 
desire of elevating themselves, and seconded in their efforts by 
the incessant grace of God and the co-operation of the blissful 
societies in the bosom of which they live amid all the splendors 
of nature, shall display to this end the activity of all their vir- 
tues, and draw nearer by a continual progress, more or less rapid, 
according to the energy of each individual, to the infinite type 
of perfection. . . . 


** It is impossible not to recognize that there is no tradition 
which throws a light so clear as this on the ideas of liberty, of 
personality, of imnwrtahty. Delivered from all arbitrary con- 
straint, man presents h'imself as the direct author •f his destiny : 
not the sport of fatality, not the victim of original sin, it is the 
individual himself who has determined in an anterior life the ini- 
tial conditions of his present life, even as he is to determine in this 
the conditions of his life to come ; and the terrestrial world, with 
its diversities of good and of evil, gives us the image of that 
world we nm the risk of entering to-morrow, unless we have 
known how to qualify ourselves for something higher. Above 
the region of troubled and confused existences in which forgetful- 
ness takes place, from re-birth to re-birth, expands the region of 
luminous existences, in which memory, acquiring all its force, 
renders to each, with the full possession of his past, the full 
identity of his person, his completed individuality." 

Such is the theodicy of "Terre et Ciel." If the author is not 
always successful in his endeavor to make his liberal philosophy 
harmonize with the theology of the Church by compelling old 
dogmas to assume a new and spiritual aspect, we cannot deny to 
him the merit of investing this ancient theory of the pre-exist- 
ence and transmigration of souls with a fresh sfnd abiding inter- 
est. His work has passed through six editions in France, and is 
deserving of an English version. In our own renderings of 
detached passages, we have done it but slender justice. 

Pierre Leroux, the associate of Reynaud in editing a philo- 
sophical dictionary, was an eloquent advocate of the doctrine 
of the transmigration of souls. Of. recent French works, in 
which the same doctrine is proclaimed, we have **Du Spiritual- 
isme Rationnel, par G. H. Love (1862);" "La Raison du 
Spiritisme, par Michel Bonnamy (1868);" "Conferences sur 
TAme, par Alexandre Chaseray (1868)." The author of the last- 
named work does not appear to either admit or deny the recent 
phenomena. From his two concluding pages, we quote the fol- 
lowing risumi of his views : — 

" All discussion relative to Deity, to the government of the 



world, to the ori^n and end of things, can result in nothing 
conclusive, for its object surpasses the reach of human intelli- 
gence. Besides, every proposition of this nature is of a second- 
ary interest f©r man. Upon all these points, I declare myself a 
positivist. In my opinion, the only question veritably important 
in philosophy, consists in knowing whether tue have an immortal 
soul. I am still so far a positivist in this, that I dismiss the 
Spiritualism of St. Thomas and of Descartes as undemonstrated 
and un demonstrable, and that I recognize the method of physical 
observation as alone capable of conducting- to certitude. But 
science is as yet very uncertain ; and I cannot resig^n myself to 
wait, when the question for us is between nothingness and 
eternal life. I have then, provisionally, recourse to those meta- 
physical reasonings which render as very probable the continu- 
ance of the soul at death. I attach myself with ardor to thai 
verity which physiology, I do not doubt, will one day make clear 
to all. 

"This capital point, immortality, bein^ then sufficiently 
established by metaphysics, we remain in the presence of two 
principal systems in respect to the destiny of the soul : that 
of one single life followed by an eternity of recompenses or of 
chastisements; and that of an indefinite series of re-births, per- 
mitting a progress slow and continuous. 

"Justice, reason, good sense, militate in favor of this latter 
system, which I adopt, in company with a crowd of emerited 
thinkers. And so the immortality of the soul, the universal 
solidarity of intelligent beings, their free will, and their succes- 
sive transformations, according to the good or bad exercise of 
this free will, — such is my philosophical programme. My 
thought, firmly established on this basis, remains calm and 
serene, and has so remained through long years, catching 
glimpses of a future without end, and of felicities less sudden, 
less abruptly marvellous than those of the Christian heaven, 
but which satisfy both my reason and my taste more fully, and 
of which the hope is not counterbalanced by the frightful risk 
of a fall to the bottom of an infernal abyss." 


In his way to these conclusionSi Chaseray says, — 
I shall not invoke the reasoning which consists in saying, 
'The soul is a substance simple, immaterial, and indivisible; 
consequently it cannot perish, since death is a decomposition, a 
disjunction of parts.' This reasoning is good only for Spiritual- 
ists,* for it accepts as admitted a contested point ; this, namely, 
that there exist immaterial substances, and that the soul is an 
immaterial substance. 

Here, you see the weak side of metaphysics. It reasons ; but 
as it is compelled to take its stand on an hypothesis, a sup- 
position, we ruin its reasoning in contesting the truth of its 
premises. . . . 

" A proof of the duration of the soul, which is more gen- 
erally admitted, is that which springs from the aspiration of 
man towards the Infinite. The aspiration of a being, it is 
said, is the measure of its destiny. Now, the aspirations of man 
being without bounds, it follows that his destiny, too, is limit- 

**M. Flourens draws a similar conclusion from the infinite 
problems which the human mind strives in vain to solve. 
* These problems,* he says, * which wfi cannot solve in this 
world, must have their solution in another ;' and here, if I 
mistake not, we have one of the surest signs that there is 

" Where, in the plan of creation,*' asks Reimar, " do we find 
instincts falsified? Where do we see an instance of a creature 
instinctively craving a certain kind of food, in a place where no 
such food can be found? Are the swallows deceived by their 
instinct when they fly away from clouds and storms to seek a 
warmer country? . . . Yes: the voice of Nature does not utter 
false prophecies. . . . And if this be true with regard to the 
impulses of physical life, why should it not be true with regard 
to the superior instincts of the soul ? " 

* By S^irihtaitsiSy Chaseray here means those who are such through metaphysics ; 
not Spiritualists through the phenomena of somnambulism, and the powers manifested 
by mediums, seers, &c. 



Chaseray objects to that refined Spiritualism which would 
reject all notion of actual space -filling substance. Because 
anatomists can detect nothing that leaves the body after death, 
he does not admit that nothing may actually be disengaged. 
To combat the notions of the extreme materialists, who deny 
the existence of a soul, he becomes himself a material/sty to a cer- 
tain extent; that is to say, he considers man as composed of two 
principal elements, a body and a soul, of which the one, aftei 
death, remains, by its very grossness, perceptible to the eye, 
and which follows the dissolution of its parts and their transfor- 
mation into new principles, animal or vegetable, and of which 
the other escapes the view and the touch by its subtilty. "Let 
us distrust," he says, " our imperfect senses : there are so many 
substances which we can neither see nor feel ! Let us not go so 
far as to deny the duality of the human being, because the 
scalpel of the anatomist is impotent to make a principle emi- 
nently subtile reveal itself to our eyes. 

"If this principle really exists, and if the soul is material, 
does it necessarily follow that it is mortal? No: man is not 
necessarily pushed into nothingness in the hypothesis of mate- 
riality. * Though man should be wholly nothing but matter,* 
says Charles Bonnet, in his * Essai Analytique,* * he would be 
none the less perfect, none the less a candidate for immortality.* 
This was also the opinion of George Salzcr, who sought to 
prove that the immortality of the soul does not depend exclu- 
sively on its simplicity; that a materialist, who admits a soul 
distinct from the body, might attribute to this soul another life 
after our terrestrial death.** 

It is, then, through mistake, that some writers maintain th^t 
if the soul survives the body, it must be because it is imma' 
tcrial. The question of immortality is not necessarily bound 
up in that of spirituality. The philosophers of antiquity, and all 
the early Fathers of the Church, believed in a material or cor- 
poreal soul ; and, among the moderns who believed the same, 
we may cite Averro^s, Politian, Pomponatius, Cardan, Viviani, 


" Our soul," says Irenaeus, " is not incorporeal except in com- 
parison with gross bodies." "The matter of the soul consists 
in heat," says Lactantius. ** The soul is nothing, if it is not a 
body," says Tertullian. Nihil, si ftou corpus ! In the third cen- 
tury, Roger Bacon recognized a spiritual matter and a corporeal 
matter, a spiritual form and a corporeal form. It was St. 
Thomas Aquinas who first introduced into the Church the doc- 
trine of pure Spiritualism ; and, according to him, millions of 
spirits might find room to dance on the point of a needle. Des- 
cartes did the same for philosophy. 

From the writings of Cabanis, Broussais, and Azais, the lead- 
ing materialists of the early part of this century, Chaseray 
says that passages favorable to the idea of an immortal soul 
may be produced. Cabanis, for example, who sees nothing but 
organism, who explains all by organism, who regards the brain 
"as an organ . designed specially to produce thought, as the 
stomach and intestines are to accomplish digestion, the liver to 
filtrate bile," &c., cannot at last avoid the declaration, that 
to bring all this about, to give life to this carcass, there must be 
" a principle or vivifying faculty which nature fixes in the germs 
or spreads in the seminal fluids." In a posthumous letter, he is 
still more explicit. "It is impossible for us to affirm," he says, 
" that the dissolution of the organs involves that of the moral 
system, and, above all, of the cause which renders us susceptible 
of perception ; since we do not know it in any manner, and in 
all probability are interdicted from ever Jcnowing it. Now, it 
suffices for those who would establish the persistence of this 
cause after the destruction of the living body, that the contrary 
opinion cannot be demonstrated by positive arguments. 

Rather more modest was the profound Cabanis than the im- 
petuous Messrs. Vogt, Biichner, and Moleschott, who cannot 
repress their indignation because people will still heed this old 
wives' story of a future state. 

M. Azais is a materialist of a still more decided type ; and he 
says, " The soul which resides in the central part of the brain 
is formed by the agency of the organs of sense, and by the 



magnetic commerce of these organs with external beings." And 
yet this philosopher does not draw from his premises the con- 
clusion which we might expect ; namely, that the destruction 
of the organs involves the dispersion of ideas and the complete 
annihilation of the intelligent being. On the contrary, he says, 
** While time enfeebles, alters, destroys the body of the sage, it 
perfects his soul; and this progress indicates a high destiny. 
It is, in reality, the soul of the sage which is the ultimate object 
of the composition of the world; it is the soul of the sage 
which ought to be strengthened and preserved by the laws 
which govern the universe. No other result would be worthy 
of this sublime work." 

The physiologists, too, are claimed by Chaseray in support of 
his views. 

Charles Bonnet, the great naturalist and physiologist (1720- 
1793), believed, like most modern Spiritualists, that to maintain 
the human personality, which must consist, above all, in the 
memory, and to maintain a link between the present and the 
future state of man, there must be an ethereal and indestructible 
body to which the soul remains united after death, and which is 
the germ of the new body destined to peifect the faculties of 
man in another life. 

M. Flourens has declared that the " bad philosophies must 
not pretend to find their support in physiology." 

Alfred Maury, after allowing these words to escape him, 
namely, "The intelligence is, after all, a function of the brain," 
hastens to add, in a note, "I do not pretend to deny the action 
of the soul, but I would remark that this action is always closely 
connected with the play of the organism." 

Milne Edwards says, that he does not regard the organiza- 
tion as being all in the economy of living bodies. 

M. Gratiolet writes, "The system which best satisfies com- 
mon sense, is that which admits the individuality of souls and 
their existence independently of a certain body." 

Finally, the celebrated professor, Rodolph Wagner, says at 
G6ttingen, in the midst of an assembly of savants, " The moral 


which flows from materialism is this : Let us eat and drink; to- 
morrow we shall .be no more.*' 

Other savants, somewhat numerous, it must be admitted, the 
Vogts, Rostans, Biichners, Robins, Moleschotts, persist in see- 
ing in the phenomenon of thought nothing more than a cere- 
bral function, a pure effect of organism. 

^ "To think without a brain," objects M. Etienne Vacherot, 
" seems to me as great a miracle as to feel without a nervous 
system, and to perceive without organs." 

"And yet," retorts Chaseraj, " this sort of miracle is accom- 
plished every day ; and the least contested phenomena of som- 
nambulism and animal magnetism subvert the biological notions 
based on the ordinary state of man. The organism would seem 
to be the instrument indispensable for the exercise and develop- 
ment of the faculties of the soul, rather than the condition neces- 
sary for the existence of these same faculties. Without organism, 
the soul is in repose; it may be compared to the engineer with- 
out a locomotive to conduct, or the musician without an instru- 
ment on which to perform. 

"This hesitation of science, /^i5 division of the doctors into 
two camps, denotes the absence of positive proofs on either side, 
and consequently leaves subsisting in their entirety the meta- 
physical and moral proofs which make the immortality of the 
soul so probable. We must not allow ourselves to be imposed 
on by the audacity of these organizationists" 

If M. Chaseray would acquaint himself with the great facts 
recorded in this volume, he would see that the " audacity" of 
these organizationists is, as we have shown from their own ad- 
missions, wholly based on their denial, or, as we contend, their 
ignorance, of phenomena known at this time to several million 
intelligent contemporaries. 

But M. Chaseray is not without hope of a scientific proof of 
the fact of the soul's immortality. He says, "The day when 
physiology shall have proved the existence of the soul, shall 
have made it appear that an incorruptible substance separates 
itself at death from the discarded organism, this proposition 




will pass from the domain of metaphysics into that of the posi- 
tive sciences ; from probable it will become certain. I do not 
despair of this success." 

Christian Garve, a German writer (1742-1798), seems to have 
entertained a belief not unfavorable to the theory of progressive 
existences. He writes, "The greatest encouragement to intel- 
lectual progress arises from our belief in one supreme Fountain 
of Wisdom, toward which we may continually advance ; while, 
as we reverently approach that Source of mental light, the 
obscurities hanging about our present defective vision will 
gradually pass away. Without such a faith, I must look upon 
the world from a melancholy point of view. 

" I behold around me a vast universe crowded with innumera- 
ble objects of interest, all possessing powers and qualities of 
which myself and my fellow-creatures can only understand a 
minute part. 

"Is there not a Supreme Mind which comprehends the whole 
more perfectly than we understand the minutest portions of it? 
If I doubt this, how hopeless must appear my efforts toward 
intellectual satisfaction ! For how can I, in my short life, hope 
to gain, by the slow process of experimental inquiry, a knowl- 
edge of this vast world around me, or to answer the deepest 
questions which my own rational nature suggests ? If myself, 
and other finite creatures like myself, are the only intellectual 
beings, how little can we ever know of ourselves and of the 
universe 1 

" Is it not more cheering to believe that the rays of light in 
our own mind descend from one central Sun, than to imagine 
that our finite minds are the only illumined spots amid a wide 
creation left in darkness? ... If this picture of* the world were 
true, what proportion would there be between the rnassive and 
innumerable objects of material nature, and the few intellectual 
beings called mankind I . . . Let us believe that as our feeble 
corporeal frames are surrounded and supported by a vast mate- 
rial world, so our finite minds are under the sway of an infinite 
intellectual Power. We shall now see a just proportion between 



mind and matter. The world now becomes a noble object of 
unceasing study. The attainment of truth appears, at least 

Among those American Spiritualists who accept the pure 
Platonic doctrine of pre-existence, if not of metempsychosis, 
we may mention A. Bronson Alcott, a rare example, in these 
times, of the veritable sage. He writes : " Every creature at;sists 
in its own formation, souls being essentially creative, and crav- 
ing form. ... . 

"Throughout the domain of spirit, desire creates substance, 
wherein all creatures seek conjunction, lodging, and nurture. 
Nor is there any thing in nature, save desire, holding substances 
together; all things being dissolvable and'recombin<able in this 
spiritual menstruum. . . . 

"Under the sway of occult forces we partake of preternatural 
insights, having access to sources of information unopened to 
us in our wakeful hours. Vast systems of sympathies, ante- 
dating and extending beyond our mundane experiences, absorb 
us within their sphere, relating us to other ^Korlds of life and 

*' For never is the sleep so profound, the dream so distracting, 
as to obliterate all sense of the personality; despite these 
vagaries of the night, these opiates of the senses, memory 
sometimes dispels the oblivious slumbers, and recovers for the 
mind recollections of its descent and destiny. Some reliques 
of the ancient consciousness survive, recalling our previous his- 
tory and experiences. . . . 

"Ancient of days, we hardly are persuaded to believe that 
our souls are no older than our bodies, and to date our nativity 
from our famify registers, as' if time and space could chronicle 
the periods of the immortal mind by its advent into the flesh 
and decease out of it. . . . 

" None of us remember when we did not remember, when 
memory was nought and ourselves were unborn. Memory is 
the premise of our sensations : it dates our immortality. . . . 

** Moreover, the insatiableness of our desires asserts our per- 



sonal imperishableness. Yearning for full satisfactions, while 
balked of these perpetually, we still prosecute our search for 
them, our faith in their attainment remaining unshaken under 
every disappointment. Our hope is eternal as ourselves, — a 
never-ending, still-beginning quest of our divinity. Infinite in 
essence, we crave it in potence. The boundlessness and elas- 
ticity of the mind, its power of self-recovery, uprise from tem- 
porary obstructions, self-imposed or from temperament, are 
assurances made doubly sure of our soul's infinitude and lon- 
gevity. . . . 

" 'Every thing aspires to its own perfection, and is restless till 
it attain it, — as the trembling needle till it find its beloved 
north. And the knowledge of this is innate as is the desire, 
else the last had been a torment and needless importunity. 
Nature shoots not at rovers. Even inanimate things,' while 
ignorant of their perfection, are carried toward it by a blind 
impulse. But that which conducts them knows. The next 
order of beings have some sight of it, and man most perfectly 
till he touch th^r apple.* Our delights suckle us life- long, our 
desires being memories of past satisfactions; and we here but 
sip pleasures once tasted to satiety. ... 

*' Still heaven is, our hearts affirm against every disappoint- 
ment; and whether behind or before us, as memory or as hope, 
'tis to be ours; our port and resting-place sometime in the 
stream of ages." 

The poets have often availed themselves of the Platonic theory 
of pre-existence. Virgil, in the Sixth Book of his ^-Eneid, 
teaches very distinctly the doctrine of the transmigration of 
souls. "These souls," says Anchises, "destined for other 
bodies, drink, in the waters of Lethe, a long oblivion of things 
past." Robert Southey, in one of his published letters, re- 
marks, "I have a strong and lively faith in a state of continued 
consciousness from this stage of existence; and that we shall 
recover the consciousness of other stages through which we 
previously may have passed, seems to me not improbable." 
And again he writes, "The system of progressive existences 



8eems, of all others, the most benevolent; and all that we do 
understand is so wise and so good, and all we do, or do not, so. 
perfectly and overwhelmingly wonderful, that the most benevo- 
lent system is the most probable." 

In his novel of " Lucretia," Lord Lytton observes : " What 
we call eternity may be but an endless series of those transitions 
which men call deaths; abandonments of home after home, ever 
to fairer scenes and loftier heights. Age after age, the spirit, 
that glorious nomad, may shift its tent, fated not to rest in the 
dull Elysium of the heathen, but carrying with it evermore its 
elements, — activity and desire. Why should the soul ever re- 
pose ? . . . Labor is the purgatory of the erring ; and it is none 
the less the heaven of the good." 

Walter Scott, in his diary, under the date of Feb. 17, 1828, 
remarks, " I cannot, I am sure, tell if it is worth marking down, 
that yesterday, at dinner-time, I was strongly haunted by what 
I would call the sense of pre-existence, in a confirmed idea that 
nothing which passed was said for the first time." 

Tennyson repeatedly refers to this mood ; "and in ** The Pre- 
lude," by Wordsworth, we find the following passage i — 

" Our childhood sits, 
Our simple childhood, sits upon a throne 
That hath more power than all the elements. 
I guess not what this tells 0/ Being pasi^ 
Nor what it augurs of the life to come." 

In his "Intimations of Immortality, from Recollections of 
Early Childhood," Wordsworth is still more direct in his refer- 
ence to that key to many mysteries, the doctrine of pre- 
existence : — 

"Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting : 

The soul that rises with us, our life's star, 
Hath had elsewhere its setting, 

And cometh from afar : 
Not in entire forgetfulness, 

And not in utter nakedness, 
But trailing clouds of glory do we cooM 

From God who is our bomt " 



" 'Tis immortality deciphers man, 
And opens, all the mysteries of his make. 
Without it, half his instincts are a riddle ; 
Without it, all his virtues are a dream." — Young, 

EVERY step taken in advance bjr science is in harmony with 
the great facts which Spiritualism reveals. We think that 
our popular friend, Agassiz, notwithstanding his exhibition of 
vexation when he found he could not manipulate the spiritual 
phenomena as easily as he could some rare specimens of cod 
and haddock, was nearly right when he said, " We trust that 
the time is not distant when it will be universally understood 
that the battle of the evidences will have tg be fought on the 
field of physical science, and not on that of the metaphysical." 

The further science carries its analysis, the more does the 
material world lose that character of rigidity which our external 
senses attach to it; and the more does it seem plastic under 
spiritual laws. Modern chemistry has shown us that all solid 
bodies may exist as aeriform ; that even iron may be converted 
into an invisible gas ; and the diamond which to our senses is 
inert, ponderable matter, may be volatilized in the fire of the 
burning mirror so as to develop neither smoke nor cinders. 
On the other hand, fire, essentially volatile, can be condensed 
in the calcination of metals, so as to become ponderable- 

From these facts, De Montlosier deduces the intercstiLig con- 
clusion, that all the bodies of the universe might be volatilized 
and made to disappear in those spaces which our ignorance calls 
tht void; and that, in its turn, what we call tht void mi^^ht be 


condensed, so that the number of the celestial bodies might 
be multiplied a hundred-fold; and, through all this, the uni- 
verse would not have changed in its nature and essence, though 
it would be changed in its phenomenal aspect. 

One of the most eminent physiologists of the day, Schroeder 
van der Kolk, remarks : " In my opinion, this untoward distinc- 
tion between the material and the immaterial has singularly 
contributed to confuse our ideas. Should we not proceed more 
surely in distinguishing in nature that which it is possible for us 
to perceive by the senses, and that which escapes their scrutiny f 
Who gives us the right to admit that the limits of nature do not 
go beyond those of our organs ? " 

Everywhere, under the appearance of concretion and hard- 
ness, livmg elemental forces are latent, and the slightest varia- 
tion in the equilibrium and correlation of these might alter the 
face of the universe, and the most solid substances might vanish 
like a dream. 

In the remote distances between the planets, there is no inac- 
tive void. "The space," says Oersted, "is filled by ether and 
penetrated by the attractive forces by which the whole universe is 
held together. The ether itself is an ocean, whose waves form 
light, that great co'nnecting link which conveys messages ' from 
globe to globe and from system to system. The wonders un- 
ravelled by science prove that we are not isolated beings, but 
that we are related to the whole universe." 

Thus science comes in to confirm that great deduction of 
Spiritualism, which assures us bf the solidarity of all life and 
intelligence in whatever world or system they may be devel- 
oped, — that we none of us are aliens in God's universe, but cos- 
mopolitans, entitled to the freedom of the whole of it; ay, born 
to make all the past and all the future our heritage; our ear- 
nestness and our efforts being always the measure of our acquisi- 
tions in goodness and in knowledge. And for this infinite work 
we have an eternity before us. 

Besides the assurances of immortality which Spiritualism 
gives* in revealing to us the phenomena of spiritual action and 



intelligence, it ofTers an added and more important confirmation 
in the revelation it makes of powers in the human soul, whidi 
proclaim that it is not merely the creature of space and time, 
but that in eternity and infinity is to be found its native atmos- 
phere ; and that such are its capacities of clairvoyance, that not 
only the remotest planet, but the past eternities, may be hereafter 
scanned by its unconditioned vision. The argument for immor- 
tality, drawn from these capacities, has already been presented, 
and it seems to us unanswerable. 

Another stupendous fact, which the phenomena we have been 
dealing with disclose, is this, — and it is one which, more than 
all other considerations, except the consciousness that God sees 
us, ought to keep us from defiling the soul by any act which in 
our better moments we may deplore, — Memory is imperishable \ 
and all thought and all action leave their eternal record in the 
organic structure of our very souls. Nothing happens, not 
the most fleeting and seemingly trivial occurrence of our lives, 
that may not be, ages and aeons hence, reproduced to our own 
consciousness, as well as to that of others, independently of our 
own will or co-operation. 

" There is a power," says Voltaire, " that acts within us with- 
out consulting us." 

Much goes on in the soul, of which consciousness takes no 
note at the time; but all mental processes, conscious or un- 
conscious, leave their record, and that record is ineffaceable. 
Modern physiologists tell us of " latent thought," of «* uncon- 
scious cerebration," of the " automatic action of the mind," &c. ; 
and Dr. Maudsley says, that ^'consciousness is not co-extensive 
with mind;" that "mental power is being organized before 
tlie supervention of consciousness ; " and that " the preconscious 
action of the mind, and the unconscious, are facts of -which self- 
consciousness can give us no account." — "The brain not only 
receives impressions unconsciously, registers impressions with- 
out the co-operation of consciousness, elaborates materials 
unconsciously, calls latent residua again into activity without 
consciousness, but it responds also as. an organ of organic life 



to the internal stimuli which it receives unconsciously from 
other organs of the body." 

All this is true, but not the whole truth. It is but a partial 
view of the facts. Consciousness may not take note at the 
moment of all this unconscious or automatic action, but it is 
inscribed where consciousness can read it in some supreme 
moment, God's moment, perchance, when long latent memories 
start up with a vividness that commands the concentration of 
all our faculties in one eflfort of attention. We have heard how, 
when persons are drowning, the incidents of a lifetime pass in 
a few seconds before the mental ken. We ourselves experi- 
enced the sensation once, when we anticipated- instant death 
from an accident in a carriage. 

In his " Biographia Literaria," Coleridge mentions a case, 
also authenticated by Abercrombie, of a young and ignorant 
woman who, during a fever, talked incessantly in Latin, Greek, 
and Hebrew; and who, as it was afterwards discovered, had 
lived with a learned man, who was a great Hebraist. 

"This authenticated case," says Coleridge, "furnishes both 
proof and instance, that reliques of sensation may exist for an 
indefinite time, in a latent state, in the very same order in which 
they were originally impressed; and as we cannot rationally 
suppose the feverish state of the brain to act in any other way 
than as a stimulus, this fact (and it would not be difficult to 
adduce several of the same kind) contributes to make it even 
probable that all thoughts are in themselves imperishable ; and 
that, if the intelligent faculty should be rendered more compre- 
hensive, it would require only a different and apportioned organi- 
zation, the body celestial instead of the body terrestrial, to bring 
before every human soul the collective experience of its whole 
past existence. And Ihis, perchance, is the dread booh of judg" 
ment, in the mysterious hieroglyphics of which every idle word is 

" Yes, in the very nature of a living spirit, it may be more pos- 
sible that heaven and earth should pass away, than that a single 
act* a single thought, should be loosened or lost from that living 



chain of causes, with all the links of which, conscious or uncon- 
scious, the free will, our only absolute self, is co-extensive and 
CO- present." 

" All mental activities, all acts of knowledge," sajrs Sir Wil' 
Ham Hamilton, "which have been once excited, persist; ive 
never wholly lose them, but they become obscure. This obscura- 
tion can be conceived in every infinite degree, between incipient 
latescence and irrecoverable latency. The obscure cognition 
may exist simply out of consciousness, so that it can be recalled 
by a common act of reminiscence. Again, it may be impossible 
to recover it by an act of voluntary recollection ; but some asso- 
ciation may revivify it enough to make it flash after a long ob- 
livion into consciousness. Further, it may be obscured so far 
that it can only be resuscitated by some morbid affection of the 
system; or, finally, it may be absolutely lost for us in this life, 
and destined only for our reminiscence in the life to come.** 

The facts of clairvoyance go to prove that the " absolute loss," 
of which Sir William speaks, does not take place even in this 
life. Sir William was somewhat in advance of our Cambridge 
professors. He was well persuaded of the essential facts of clair- 
voyance. "However astonishing," he says, "«V ts now proved 
beyond all rational doubt that, in certain abnormal states of the 
nervous organism, perceptions are possible through other than 
the ordinary channels of the sense." 

In his essay on the " Philosophical Teaching of Magnetism," 
M. Dupotet says, " Let thy actions be virtuous ; for know that 
thy soul will remember them all thy after life on earth, and the 
remembrance of- them will be ineflfaceable. Not on sand are 
human actions engraven, but in the conscience. Whatsoever 
thou shall have thought, shall be known by all who -wish to know 
it. For thee no more dissimulation is possible ; no longer anj 
mask. As thou wilt be able to read in others, so they in thee; 
and thy most trifling actions will appear like a cloud under a 
serene sky." v 

The phenomena of clairvoyance show that there is not the 
slightest exaggeration in all this. The remembrance of our 



slightest acts and thoughts may be suspended ; but it is eternally 

We have seen that, all unconsciously, science, at every step of 
its progress, is revealing analogies with spiritual facts. A lec- 
ture was recently delivered at the Royal Institution by Professor 
Tyndall, in which he demonstrated, that a ray of light was al- 
lowed to traverse a strip of glass every time he caused it to set 
up a musical sound; the glass being held in a vice, and the 
light from an electric lamp polarized upon it. The same learned 
professor delivered a lecture on "The Rhythm of Flames," or 
" On Sounding and Sensible Flames," when he exhibited a flame 
some twenty inches in height, which fell down to eight on the 
slightest tap on an anvil. It responded to the tinkle of a bunch 
of keys or a few pence shaken together, the creaking of boots, 
the rustling of a silk dress or a piece of paper; while certain in- 
tonations of the voice threw it into violent commotion. 

Grove says, in his "Correlation and Continuity," p. i6i, 

Myriads of organized beings may exist imperceptible to our 
vision, even if we were amongst them ; and we might be equally 
imperceptible to them." 

The universe is a vast whispering gallery, a boundless system 
of correlated influences ; and the soul of man has the eternal free- 
dom of the infinite " mansions." 

The faculty which some sensitives have, like Mr. J. V. Mans- 
field, of learning the contents of a letter, or the mood of the 
writer, by simply feeling of the paper, has been so repeatedly 
tested as to be placed beyond a dpubt. Others, as we have seen 
in the case of Home, by simply being brought in contact with a 
person, or by touching a lock of his hair, will have revealed to 
them incidents in his past life to an extent wholly inexplicable. 

Heinrich Zschokke, the celebrated German writer, was one of 
these. He was instinctively a Spiritualist from his youth up, 
was well acquainted with the phenomena of rhabdomancy 
(divination by a rod or wand), which, he says, presented him 
with a new phase of nature, and which was, moreover, of con- 
siderable use to him in his mining operations. From personal 



experience, he believed in spiritual impressions and presenti- 
ments, especially as conveyed in dreams. But his most remark- 
able faculty was what he describes as a sing'ular kind of pro- 
phetic gift he called his inward sight, but whiph was always an 
enigma to him. The following is his detailed account of it: — 

** It is well known that the judgment we not seldom form at 
the first glance of persons hitherto unknown, is more correct 
than that which is the result of longer acquaintance. The first 
impression, that through some instinct of the soul attracts or re- 
pels us with strangers, is afterwards weakened or destroyed bj 
custom, or by different appearances. We speak in such cases of 
sympathies or antipathies, and perceive these effects frequentlj 
among children, to whom experience in human character is 
wholly wanting. Others are incredulous on this point, and have 
recourse rather to the art of physiognomy. Now, for my own 
case: It has happened to me sometimes on my first meeting 
with strangers, as I listened silently to their discourse, that their 
former life, with many trifling circumstances therewith con* 
nected, or frequently some particular scene in that life, has 
passed quite involuntarily, and, as it were, dream-like, yet per- 
fectly distinct before me. During this time, I usually feel so en- 
tirely absorbed in the contemplation of the stranger life, that at 
last I no longer see clearly the face of the unknown, wherein I un- 
designedly read, nor distinctly hear the voices of the speakers, 
which before served in some measure as a commentary to the 
text of their features. 

"For a long time, I held such visions as delusions of the fancy, 
and the more so, as they showed me even the dress and motions 
of the actors, rooms, furniture, and other accessories. By wa/ 
of jest, I once in a familiar family circle at Kirchberg related the 
secret history of a seamstress who had just left the room and the 
house. I had never seen her before in my life : people were as- 
tonished and laughed, but were not to be persuaded that I did 
not previously know the relations of which I spoke ; for what I 
had uttered was the literal truth. I, on my part, was no less as- 
tonished that my dream-pictures were confirmed by the reality. I 


became more attentive to the subject, and, when propriety ad- 
mitted it, I would relate to those whose life thus passed before 
me the subject of my vision, that I might thereby obtain confir- 
mation or refutation of it. It was invariably ratified, not without 
'consternation on their part. * What demon inspires you? Must 
I again believe in possession?' exclaimed the sptrttuel Johann 
von Riga, when, in the first hour of our acquaintance, I related his 
past life to him, with the avowed object of learning whether or 
no I deceived myself. We speculated long on the enigma, but 
even his penetration could not solve it. I myself had less con- 
fidence than any one in this mental jugglery. So often as I re- 
vealed my visionary gifts to any new person, I regularly expected 
to he'ar the answer, * It was not so.* I felt a secret shudder when 
my auditors replied that it was true, or when their astonishment 
betrayed my accuracy before they spoke. Instead of many, I 
will mention one example, which pre-eminently astounded me. 

" One fair day in the city of Waldshut, I entered an inn (the 
Vine), in company with two young student-foresters; we were 
tired with rambling through the woods. We supped with a 
numerous society at the iadle dVtd^e, where the guests were 
making very merry with the peculiarities and eccentricities of 
the Swiss, with Mesmer's magnetism, Lavater's physiognomy, 
&c. One of my companions, whose national pride was wounded 
by their mockery, begged me to make some reply, particularly 
to a handsome young man who sat opposite us, and who had al- 
lowed himself extraordinary license. This man*s former life was 
at that moment presented to my mind. I turned to him and 
asked whether he would answer me candidly if I related to him 
some of the most secret passages of his life, I knowing as little 
of him personally as he did of me? That would be going a little 
further, I thought, than Lavater did with his physiognomy. He 
promised, if I were correct in my information, to admit it frankly. 
I then related what my vision had shown me, and the whole com- 
pany were made acquainted with the private history of the young 
merchant; his school years, his youthful errors, and, lastly, with 
A fault committed in reference to the strong box of his principal. 



I described to him the uninhabited room with whitened walls, 
where, to the right of the brown door, on a table, stood a black 
money-box, &c. A dead silence prevailed during the whole 
narration, which I alone occasionally interrupted hy inquiring 
whether I spoke the truth. The startled young man confirmed' 
every particular, and even, what I had scarcely expected, the last 
mentioned. Touched by his candor, I shook hands with him 
over the table, and said no mote. He asked my name, which I 
gave him, and we remained together talking till past midnight. 
He is probably still living ! 

" I can well explain to myself how a person of lively imagina- 
tion may form, as in a romance, a correct picture of the actions 
and passions of another person, of a certain character, under cer- 
tain circumstances. But whence came those trifling accessories 
which nowise concerned me, and in relation to people for the 
most part indifferent to me, with whom I neither had, nor desired 
to have, any connection? Or, was the whole matter a constantly 
recurring accident? Or, had my auditor, perhaps, when I re- 
lated the particulars of his former life, very different views to give 
of the whole, although in his first surprise, and misled by some 
resemblances, he had mistaken them for the same? And yet, im- 
pelled by this very doubt, I had several times given myself 
trouble to speak of the most insignificant things which my wak- 
ing dream had revealed to me. I shall not say another word on 
this singular gift of vision, of which I cannot say it was ever of* 
the slightest service ; it manif(?sted itself rarely, quite independ- 
ently of my will, and several times in reference to persons whom 
I cared little to look through. Neither am I the only person in 
possession of this power. On an excursion I once made with 
two of my sons, I met wfth an old Tyrolese, who carried oranges 
and lemons about the country, in a house of public entertain- 
ment, in Lower Hanenstein, one of the passes of the Jura. He 
fixed his eyes on me for some time, then mingled in the conver- 
sation, and said that he knew me, although he knew me not, and 
went to relate what I had done and striven to do in former time, 
to the consternation of the country people present, and the great 


admiration of my children, who were diverted to find another 
person gifted like their father. How the old lemon merchant 
came by his knowledge, he could not explain, neither to me nor 
to himself ; he seemed, nevertheless, to value himself somewhat 
upon his mysterious wisdom." 

Emile Deschamps communicates to "Le Monde Musical," of 
Brussels (1868), the following account of his own experience in 
psychometrj : ** If a man believed only what he could compre- 
hend, he would believe neither in God, in himself, in the stars 
which roll above his head, nor in the herbage which is crushed 
beneath his feet. . . . 

" In the month of February, 1846, I travelled in France. I ar- 
rived in a rich and great city ; and I toQk a walk in front of the 
beautiful shops which abound in it. The rain began to fall ; I 
entered an elegant gallery. All at once I stood motionless; 
I could not withdraw my eyes from the figure of a lovely young 
woman, who was all alone behind an array of articles of orna- 
ment for sale. This young woman was very handsome ; but it 
was not at all her beauty which enchained me. I know not 
what mysterious interest, what inexplicable bond, held and mas- 
tered my whole being. It was a sympathy subtle and profound, 
free from any sensual alloy, but of irresistible force, as the un- 
known is in all things. I was pushed forward into the shop by 
a supernatural power. I purchased several little things, and, as I 
paid for them, said, * Thank you. Mademoiselle Sara.' The 
young girl looked at me with an air of surprise. * It astonishes 
you,' I continued, * that a stranger knows your name, and one of 
your baptismal names ; but, if you will think for a moment of all 
your names, I will repeat them all to you. Do you think of 
them?' *Yes, monsieur,* she replied, half-smiling and half- 
trembling. *Very well,* I added, looking fixedly in her face, 

*You are called Sara Adele Benjamine N .* *It is true,* 

she replied ; and after some minutes of surprise she began all at 
once to laugh ; and I saw that she thought that I had obtained 
this information in the neighborhood, in order to amuse myself 
with it. But I knew very well that I had not till this moment 



known a word of it, and I was terrified at my own instantaneoui 

"The next and the next day I hastened to the handsome 
shop ; my divination was renewed at every instant. I begged of 
Sara to think of something, without letting me know what it 
was ; and, immediately, I read on her countenance her thought 
not yet expressed. I requested her to write with a pencil some 
words, which she should keep carefully concealed from me ; and, 
after having looked at her for a minute, I, on my part, wrote 
down the same words in the same order. I had her thoughts as 
in an open book ; but she could not in the slightest degree read 
mine, such was my superiority; but at the same time she im- 
posed on me her ideas and her emotions. Let her think seriously 
on any subject, or let her repeat in h^r own mind the words of 
any writing, and instantly I was aware of the whole. The 
mystery lay betwixt her brain and mine, not betwixt my 
facu'lties of intuition and things material. Whatever it might 
be, there existed a rapport between us as intimate as it was 

"One night I heard in my ear a loud voice crying to me, 

* Sara is very ill, very ill I ' I hastened to her : a medical man 
was watching over her and expecting a crisis. That evening 
Sara had entered her lodgings in a burning fever; she continued 
in delirium all night. The doctor took me aside, and told me 
that he feared the worst result. From that apartment I saw 
the countenance of Sara clearly, and, my intuition rising above 
my distress, I said in a low voice, ' Doctor, do you know with 
what images her fevered sleep is occupied? She believes that 
she is at this moment at the grand opera at Paris, where she 
indeed has never been, and a danseuse gathers, amongst other 
buds, some hemlock, and, throwing it to her, cries, " T/kat is for 
you^ ' 

"The physician thought I was delirious too; but some minutes 
afterwards the patient awoke heavily, and her first words were, 

* Oh ! how beautiful is the opera ! but why did that handsome 
girl throw to me that hemlock ? * The doctor was stupefied with 



astonishment. A medicine containing hemlock was admin- 
istered, and in some days Sara was well." 

According to Goethe, this same faculty of psychometry or in- 
ward sight was possessed by Lavater, the celebrated physiogno- 
mist (1741-1801). Goethe tells us that Lavater's insight into 
the characters of individuals " surpassed all conception and he 
speaks of it as one of those gifts which " seem to have something 
of magic in it." However this may be, we have his authority 
for asserting that Lavater believed in special providences, espe- 
cially in answer to prayer, and that he had "a perfect con- 
viction that miracles can be wrought to-day as well as hereto- 
fore." He tells us, too, that " his [Lavater's] system of 
physiognomy rests on the conviction that the sensible corre- 
sponds throughout with the spiritual, and is not only an evidence 
of it, but, indeed, its represenfSsitive ; " and, like Swedenborg 
and Spiritualists in general, he held that the future life was 
a continuation of the present, though under different condi- 
, tions. 

" Whatever may be conjectured or inferred," says Lavater, ** in 
regard to the state of the soul after death, may be stated in the 
following thesis or axiom : * Man shall reap as he has sown.' 
It is impossible to discover a more lucid or simple principle, or 
one capable of a wider application. 

"There exists a general, natural law which governs every 
world, and every department of the physical, moral, intelligent, 
visible, and invisible worlds. It is this : * Whatever is suscepti- 
ble of affinity, attracts ; the same species are mutually drawn 
to each other, unless thwarted by obstacles fortuitously inter- 

" Every soul freed from mafter not only knows itself; not only 
do the errors, distractions, and blindness which opposed it in the 
contemplation of itself, and in the knowledge of its powers, 
weakness, and shortcomings, cease, but it feels itself attracted 
toward every thing which has affinity for it, by an interior, 
irresistible force; while it feels repulsion for whatever is alien 
to it. 




**It8 moral or religious character gives it a determinate direc- 
tion. Whoso is good goes toward the good. Its needs, its at- 
tractibns for the good, give it this direction. The impure soul is 
repelled among the impure. Just as a heavy weight, tossed into 
open space, would fall swiftly into the abyss, so impure, im- 
moral, and irreligious souls will inevitably go to join their 

Lavater, in this, merely sums up what is highest and most 
uniform in the teachings of Spiritualism. 

Among American poets of promise was Force3rthe Willson. 
Bom in Indiana in 1837, he died in 1867. He, too, was a psycho- 
metrist. He would take a letter, and, pressing it to his forehoad, 
announce accurately the character and personal appearance of 
the writer. He, too, like Oberlin, professed to have interviews 
with his departed wife. There is a remarkable poem from his 
pen, entitled " The Voice," which seems to have reference to the 
^Kt We quote the following passages : — 

" My soul to ecstasy was stirred ; 
It was a Voice that I had heard 
A thousand blissful times before. 
But deemed that I should hear no more 
'Till I should have a spirit's ear 
And breathe another atmosphere. . . . 

" * Where art thou, blessed spirit, where, 
Whose voice is dew upon the air? * 
I looked around me and above, 
And cried aloud, ' Where art thou. Love ? 
Oh let me see thy living eye 
And clasp thy living hand, or die ! * 
Again upon the atmosp^re 
The self-same words feU, * / am here I * 

" • Here? Thou art here. Love? ' — */ am ketw I 
The echo died upon my ear I 
I looked around me everywhere. 
But ah ! there was no mortal there I 
The moonlight was upon the mart, 
And awe and wonder in my heart 


I saw no form ! — I only felt 
Heaven's peace upon me as I knelt, 
And knew a Soul Beatified 
Was at that moment at my side." 

Between Willson and a neighbor a coolness had arisen. But 
as Willson was about to leave town, the neighbor met him at 
the cars, and, holding out his hand, said, " We must not part 
with a cloud between us." Willson grasped the proffered hand 
with emotion, and replied, " The good man within me told me to 
say to you just what you have said to me; but the devil wouli 
have conquered, I fear, if you had not spoken. We shall never 
meet again / for within six months I shall have joined my wife 
in the land of the hereafter." 

The presentiment was accurate. Within four months he 

William Denton, the accomplished professor of geology, says, 
"There are forces coming out from all forms of matter: we can- 
not see them with the material eye, hear them with the material 
ear, know them by the material senses \ but the soul has facul- 
ties by which to grasp them." 

Reichenbach discovered that from every magnet, in proportion 
to its length, flowed forth luminous rays, and that some indi- 
viduals are so susceptible as to be able to see these, while men 
generally have not the slightest idea of their existence. Some 
of the persons he experimented upon, were enabled to perceive 
the presence of a magnet, even when twenty to fifty feet distant. 
The luminous aura emitted from shells, minerals, magnets, the 
human body, and each of its organs, and, indeed, from all 
objects around us, serves, in some subtle way, to retain and 
convey to the seer an impression of their past history and sur- 
roundings. Mr. Denton's experiments have demonstrated that 
there are certain sensitives who can receive influences from the 
fossil remains of the far-off ages. 

In thait able contribution to the literature of Spiritualism, 
"The Soul of Things," he presents facts showing that the soul 
of man has power to read, even in the inorganic substances of 


nature, their eternal record. Thus, in a spiritual sense, what- 
ever has been, is now. No mountain ever stood that stands not 
now ; no human being ever shed an influence, who sheds it not 
now. Only the spiritual is the abiding. 

"The air," says Professor Babbage, "is one vast library, on 
whose pages are for ever written all that man has ever said, or 
woman whispered." 

The spirit, when it passes on, takes with it every thing neces- 
sary for the continuance of its individuality. Deprive a man at 
once of his good or his bad tendencies, and you rob him of his 
identity: he becomes scrtnebody else at once. God is very 
patient, since he has an eternity in which to deal with us. He 
can put up with very slow gradations of progress ; even with 
retrogressions. The loss will be our own ; and the eflfort must 
be our own if we would make up for the loss. 

Psychometry tells us, that the soul is what Aristotle calls an 
entelechy, or actuality, unlimited by this enclosure of flesh. 
"We ought not," says Dr. Bertrand, "to consider our body as 
containing our soul in the manner in which a thing material 
contains another; but only as limiting the extent of the matter 
in which it is given it to act and feel." 

What an incentive to a scrupulous morality* would the facts 
Of psychometry be, if rightly pondered ! They show that every 
act and thought of our existence are for ever reproducible for 
ourselves and all spiritual intelligences to scan at pleasure; that 
the warp and woof of our spiritual substance include all that we 
have desired, done, and thought; that God's judgments are 

* " If nothing could be Evil, nothing would be Good, 

But all things whatsoever would be indiflFerent and unmoral. 

The possibility of Vice is the condition of Virtue. 

So likewise is Evil the revelation of Good, 

And Human weakness of Divine strength. 

If we had no lower impulses, no meaner passions. 

No drawings toward the worse, no susceptibility of temptation. 

Never should we distinguish God's voice in Conscience, 

Nor know that God is moral, nor frame moral judgments." 

Theism^ by Francis IV. Newmca 

THE soul's day OF JUDGMENT. 

recorded against us in the very structure of our being, as fast 
as our sins are committed. 

There is no waiting for rewards and punishments. Poor con- 
ceptions of a heavenly reward must he hav« who regards it as 
something outside of the state of his own soul. Foretastes of 
heaven may be had even here by every righteous, loving, and 
aspiring spirit. All^he good we do, all the pure happiness 
we enjoy, are happiness and good for ever. All our acquisi- 
tions in knowledge, in art, in virtue, are made for ever, and 
shall be the vantage-ground of ever new attainments. 

On the other hand, the hell of the evil-doer yawns for him 
even now; and, in one sense, it is eternal; for, as we have seen, 
though the sinner may forsake his sin (and in every soul there 
is a redeeming principle antagonistic to everlasting wrong), 
the sin will not forsake him. Its record, which is itself, is for 
ever plain to the psychometrist of the spirit-world, and the sin- 
ner's own memory will not let it go. 

The day of judgment, when is it, if not now? Shall He to 
whom the universe is a very small thing, need the forms of our 
poor human assizes for his purposes in the creation of man? 
The pressure of his laws is upon us every moment, spiritually 
as well as physically. We can no more violate his law of right, 
without a simultaneous penalty, than we can thrust our fihger 
in the fire without injury. The spiritual, like the physical, 
offence, carries its punishment. We have but imperfect concep- 
tions of the powers of our own souls. Clairvoyance, and the 
facts of Spiritualism, give us, here and there, a glimpse of 

There will be no more ffwful tribunal than that of the awakened 
conscience ; no more dreadful sentence than that which the 
roused and clear-seeing mind of man shall some day, in some 
stage of being, near or remote, pronounce, according to the 
degree of his development and his intelligence, against himself. 

God's pardon I Can God arbitrarily or vicariously pardon? 
Yes : in all the ways by which we may truly seek it, God's par- 
don may be had, arbitrarily or freely, directly or vicariously ; 



through our own merits, or through another's, or through no 
merits at all ; through reverence for a Saviour or saint of old 
time, or through heart-crushing affection for a poor little djring 
infant of to-day. -Though our sins are as scarlet, his pardon 
goes with the asking. 

But the soul's own pardon, — what of that? God, in his 
infinite mercy, may let the waters of LetHle serve us for a time; 
but, by the inexorable laws of our spiritual constitution, the 
soul's day of judgment must come, sooner or later, and the later 
the more terrible. The fearfulest judgment-seat will be that 
which in some moment of illumination, of expansion of . our 
natural powers, we shall find established within the domain 
of our own intellectual being. Judge, jury, witnesses, will be 
there, — 

" There is no shuffling ; there the action fies 
In his true nature ; and we ouiselTes compelled. 
Even to the teeth and fwdiead of our fiuilts, 
To give in evidence." 

In that day of the soul, we can no more escape the inefface- 
able brand which conscience will put upon us, than we can run 
from our own shadow in the sunlight. 

Such are the teachings of psychometry. 



All life is Thy life, O Infinite One, and only the religious eye penetrates to th*. 
teahn of True Beauty." — y. G. FichU. 

NO one who has carefully examined the facts of modern 
Spiritualism, can fail of being struck by the analogy they 
bear to many of the miraculous incidents recorded in the Bible. 
Nothing can be more certain than that the Bible distinctly 
recognizes a class of phenomena, rejected by modern skepticism 
as contrary to the order of nature, but the possibility of which 
is clearly proved in the attestations of thousands of intelligent 
contemporaries to similar occurrences. 

Instances of the exercise of the prophetic faculty, by som- 
nambulists and others, have been not unfrequent during the 
present century. The prophet Hosea represents God as sayings 
" I have spoken by the prophets, I have multiplied visions." 

What clearer recognition of some of the higher experiences 
of somnambulism and trance can we have than the following : 
"God speaketh once, yea, twice, yet man perceiveth not; in a 
dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon 
men, in slumberings upon the bed, and sealeth their instruction, 
that he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride 
from man." 

Among the earliest spiritual manifestations of the Old Testa- 
ment are the spirit-voices. The Lord spake face to face with 
Adam and Eve (Gen. ii. i6, and again, Gen. iii. 9-22) ; again, he 
spake with Cain (Gen. iv. 6), and also spake and walked with 

What a life of spiritual experiences was that of Abraham I - 
In Gren. xviii. is related the memorable visit of the three angels 
to him, and afterwards their visit to Lot, — " Be not forgetful to 



entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels 
unawares." Angels of the Lord met Jacob on his return from 
Padanaram (Gen. xxxii. i.) ; also at Peniel an angel met and 
wrestled with Jacob : refusing to give his name, he wrestled all 
the night, until he said, "Let me go, for the day breaketh." 
Moses was evidently in constant communication with the spirit- 

An angel appeared to Hagar (Gen. xvi.); and two to Lot 
(Gen. xix.). One called to Hagar (Gen. xxxi.) ; and to Abra- 
ham (Gen. xxii.) ; one spake to Jacob in a dream (Gen. xxxi.) ; 
one appeared to Moses (Exod. iii.) ; one went before the camp 
of Israel (Exod. xiv.) ; one spake to all the children of Israel 
(Judgeis ii.) ; one spake to Gideon (Judges vi.) ; and to the wife 
of Manoah (Judges xiii.) ; one appeared to Elijah (i Kings xix.) ; 
one stood by the threshing-floor of Oman (i Chron. xxi.) ; one 
talked with Zachariah (Zach. i.) ; one appeared to the two 
Marys at the sepulchre (Matt, xxviii.); one foretold the birth 
of John the Baptist (Luke i.) ; one appeared to the Virgin Mary 
(Jbid.') ; to the shepherds (Luke ii.) ; one opened the door of 
Peter's prison (Acts v.) ; two were seen by Jesus, Peter, James, 
and John (Luke ix.). It will not do for scriptural objectors to say 
these angels were a distinct order of beings from man ; for those 
seen by the apostles were Moses and Elias, and that seen by 
John (Rev. xxii.), though called by him an angel, avowed him- 
self to be his fellow-servant, and "one of his brethren, the 

The instances of miraculous cures are numerous. Read Lev. 
XV. and xvi.. Num. v., i Kings xiii., i Kings xvii., 2 Kings ii. 4; 
iv. 5 ; xix. 20; Josh, x., &c. Hundreds of such cases could be cited 
from the Old Testament, hundreds from the New Testament 
Christ said this power would continue, and that these signs 
should alxOays follow those that believe: "In my name shall 
they cast out devils ; they shall speak with new tongues ; they 
shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, 
it shall not hurt them ; they shall lay hands on the sick, and 
they shall recover" (Mark xvi. 17, 18). 



The reported cures of Dr. Newton, the Zouave Jacob, and 
many others at the present day, are certainly not unworthy of 
investigation, if we are to believe passages like the above. 

Modern skepticism accounts those persons fatuous who say, 
"We have seen writing that could never have been done by 
mortal hand;" or who say, "Our hands were moved to write 
involuntarily." And yet spirit-writing appeared on Belshazzar's 
palace-wall; and Ezekiel (ii. 9) says, "And when I looked, be- 
hold a hand was sent unto me; and lo, a roll of a book was 
therein, and he spread it before me, and it was written within 
and without." 

There we have two distinct instances of spiritual manifesta- 
tion, very similar to those coming under our own notice in the 
present day. Spirit-hands and spirit-writing were seen, without 
the seers being either mad, dreaming, or even entranced. 

"All this," said David, "the Lord made me understand in 
writing', by his hand upon me, even all the marks of this pat- 
tern " (i Chron. xxvii. 19). See, also, 2 Chron. xxi. 12, where 
it is stated that "There came a writing to Jehoram from Elijah 
the prophet; " and this must have been some years after Elijah's 
death; though some of the commentators quietly assume, in a 
marginal note, that the said writing was written before the 
prophet's death! 

We have accounts of visions and trances, such as those of 
Balaam, the son of Beor, who heard the words of God, saw the 
vision of the Almighty; falling into a trance, having his eyes 
open, — a state accurately described, and which is familiar to 
those acquainted with certain forms of somnambulism; of 
Isaiah, the son of Amos, which he saw concerning Judah and 
Jerusalem; of Ezekiel, the priest, by the river Chebar, when 
the heavens were opened, and he saw visions of God ; of Daniel, 
in the palace of Shushan, and bythe great river Hiddekel ; of 
Peter, at Joppa, who, when he had gone upon the house-top 
to pray, fell into a trance, and saw heaven opened; of Paul, 
who was in a trance while praying in the temple at Jerusalem ; 
of John, the divine, in the isle that is called Patmos, and who 



WM commanded by a voice from the heavens, What thou seest 
write in a book ; " and who, at the conclusion of his Apocalypse, 
tells us, And I John saw and heard these things." 

That spirits can move material objects, or manifest themselves 
materially to the touch of mortals, is clearly implied in such 
narratives as those of the angel who delivered Peter out of 
prison ; of the angel who rolled away the stone from the door 
of the sepulchre; of the apostle Philip whom the Spirit of the 
Lord caught away " and bore from Gaza to Azotus ; and of Eze- 
kiel's experiences, almost literally like those of some of our con- 
temporaries, as mentioned in this volume : So the Spirit lifted 
me up, and took me away. . . . And he put forth /Jke form of «f 
kand^ and took me hy a lock of mine head^ and the Spirit lifiU 
me up between the earth and the heaven." 

Until within the last few years, who was more fit for a lunatic 
asylum than the man who would believe that a spirit could lift t 
table, '*thus violating the law of gravitation"? Yet iuks of 
iron were made to swim, and men were carried through the air, 
so often, indeed, that Obadiah was afraid lest the Spirit should 
carry away Elijah, afler he had announced his presence to the 
king (i Kings xviii.)* 

Of spiritual apparitions, it may be sufficient to refer to that 
of Samuel the prophet, who spoke to Saul, and foretold the 
impending fate of the king and of his sons. 

Seership, in the earlier periods of Hebrew history, was a dis- 
tinctive and honorable office. Thus we have Iddo, the seer; 
Gad, the king's seer; Jeduthun, the king's seer; and many more, 
whose sayings were written down and placed in the Jewish 
archives. We read of the time of Samuel, " He that is now 
called a prophet, was before-time called a seer ; " and that, " The 
word of the Lord was precious in those days, there was no 
open vision ; " or, as De Witte translates it, " The word of the 
Liord was rare, in those days visions were not frequent. 

Besides these instances, so circumstantially related, and others 
of a like kind with which the Scriptures abound, exemplifying 
various modes of spirit influx and operation, there is the long 


series of miracles, prophecies, and revelations, running through 
and indissolubly blended with the sacred history ; and the varied 
" spiritual gifts " concerning which St. Paul, writing to the 
Church of Corinth, says, ** I would not have you ignorant." 

Nor does the Church, in succeeding times, appear to have been 

Augustine asserts that miracles were so frequent and extraor* 
dinary in his time (the fourth century), that accounts of them 
were read in the churches. Some are said to have been done 
before many witnesses, and some in his own presence. 

Evodius, a bishop in Africa, and a friend of Augustine, cor- 
responded with the latter concerning spirit-manifestations. Of 
the reality of these, Evodius was well persuaded from his own 
experience. He says, ** I remember well that Profuturus, Priva- 
tus, and Servitius, whom I had known in the monastery here, 
appeared to me, and talked to me, after their decease ; and what 
they told me, happened. Was it their souls which appeared to 
me, or was it some other spirits who assumed their forms f " He 
also inquires, ''If the soul on quitting its (mortal) body does 
not retain a certain subtile body with which it appears, and by 
means of which it is transported from one spot to another?" 
Augustine, in reply, acknowledges that there is a great distinc- 
tion to be made between true and false visions, and that he could 
wish that he had some sure means of distinguishing them. 

It is a common notion among Protestants, that all alleged 
supernatural occurrences in the Catholic Church are either the 
delusions of ignorant enthusiasts, or the inventions of priest- 
craft. There can be no greater mistake. Whether the miracles 
are genuine or not, the Catholic Church admits them only after 
a most thorough investigation. '' I should not be a good Catho- 
lic," said Cardinal Wiseman, '' if I did not believe in spiritual 

The working of miracles is a condition absolutely necessary 
in the canonization of saints ; and it is only after a most careful 
scrutiny of facts that the Church allows canonization. 

In the scholastic ages," says Fleming, the belief in return 



from the dead, in apparitions and spirits, was universal." Mr. 
Morison, in his "Life of St. Bernard," observes, "Miracles, 
ghostly apparitions, divine and demoniac interference with 
sublunary affairs, were matters which a man of the twelfth 
century would less doubt of than of his own existence." 

St. Theresa, of whose experiences we have already made 
mention, writes in her account of her life, " Sometimes my 
whole body was carried with my soul^ so as to be raised from the 
ground ; but this was seldom. When I wished to resist these 
raptures, there seemed to be somewhat of such mighty force 
under my feet, which raised me up, that I knew not what to 
compare it to. All my resistance availed little." 

A modern Spiritualist believes all this without difficulty. 

Ernest Renan, in his "Life of Christ," makes light of the 
phenomena of the Bible, as well as of Spiritualism. He calls 
for "a miracle at Paris, for instance, before experienced 5a- 
vans ; " one which would put an end to all doubt. Elsewhere, 
too, he explains more exactly what would suit him as to a mira- 
cle ; that it should be wrought under conditions as to time and 
place, in a hall, and before a commission of physiologists, 
chemists, physicians, and critics; and that, when it had been 
done once, it should, on request, be repeated. 

Well does William Mountford, in his " Anti-Supernaturalisra 
of the Age," reply to expectations like these : "Are earthquakes, 
as reports, accounted incredible, as not occurring at a time and a 
place known beforehand, and submissive to the ^directions of 
men with clocks and spirit-levels, and with magnetic and other 
machines all ready for use ? And, indeed, a miracle coming to 
order would scarcely be a miracle. For, coming to order pa- 
tiently, punctually, and as a scientific certainty, it would, by that 
very fact, have parted probably with something essential to its 
nature as commonly understood." 

The belief in guardian angels was common in the earliest his- 
toric times. According to Plato, a peculiar tutelary demon is 
allotted to every man, — an unseen, yet ever-present witness of 
his thoughts and conduct. Both Greeks and Romans had their 



genii. Plutarch says, "One Supreme Providence governs the 
world; and genii participate with him in its administration." 
That each individual has his guardian angel, has always been a 
favorite tenet of the Catholic Church ; and its prayer for children 
recognizes the belief. 

Instances in which persons have spoken in a language which 
was unknown to them in their normal state, are not infre- 
quent in modern Spiritualism. 

In Edward Irving*s church, in England (1831), the utterances 
were sometimes in foreign languages as well as in "the un- 
known tongue." 

Colquohon, in his "Isis Revelata," remarks, "Many authors 
have noticed this phenomenon of speaking a language unknown 
to the individual in his ordinary state; and it will very fre- 
quently be found coupled with the prophetic faculty, as arising 
out of the same or similar conditions." 

Not only in Judea, but throughout the Orient, has the belief in 
spirit-communion prevailed from the earliest times. Mahomet 
was what would be called in our days a medium. He was sub- 
ject to trances and ecstasies. He was a thorough Spiritualist. 
When he followed the mortal remains of his son Ibrahim to 
the grave, he invoked the child's spirit to hold fast to the 
foundations of the faith; the unity of God, &c. So Irving says.* 

According to Hue, the Catholic missionary, table-rapping and 
table-turning were in use in the thirteenth century among the 
Mongols, in ^he wilds of Tartary. The Chinese recognize spirit- 
ual intervention as a fact, and it is an element in their religious 
systems. At the rites in honor of Confucius, Hue tells us that 
the spirit of Confucius is'addressed as present. 

Dr. Macgowan, in the "North-China Herald," tells us how 
writing is performed by the agency of spirits; from which we 
may infer that a form of Planchette is no novelty among the 
Chinese. He says, "The table is sprinkled equally with bran, 

• From Irving, we learn that Columbus, too,'was a Spiritualist ; believing that a 
^irit-voice spoke to him, to comfort him in his troubles, in Hi^taniola. 



flour, dust, or other powder ; and two mediums sit down at oppo- 
site sides, with their hands on the table. A hemispherical bas- 
ket, eight inches in diameter, is now reversed, and laid down 
with its edges resting on the tips of one or two fingers of the 
two mediums. This basket is to act as penholder ; and a reed, 
or style, is fastened to the rim, or a chopstick thrust through 
the interstices, with the point touching the powdered table. 

"The ghost, meanwhile, has been duly invoked ; and the spec- 
tators stand round, waiting the result. This is not uniform. Som& 
times the spirit summoned is unable to write ; sometimes he is 
mischievously inclined, and the pen — for it always moves— 
will make either a few senseless flourishes on the tables, or 
fashion sentences that are without meaning, or with a meaning 
that only misleads. This, however, is comparatively rare. In 
general, the words traced are arranged in the best form of com- 
position, and they communicate intelligence wholly unknown to 
the operators. These operators are said to be not only uncon- 
scious, but unwilling, participators in- the feat." 

T3he same writer tells us that in Ningpo, in 1843, there was 
scarcely a house in which this mode of getting messages from 
the spirits was not practised. So it would seem that, some five 
years before the phenomena at Hydesville, Planchette, or a sub- 
stitute for it, was common in China ! ♦ 

* In the New- York "Round Table" of Dec. 12th, 1868, we find the following re- 
marks upon the subject of Planchette : " Mr. Kirby is said to have sold over two hna- 
dred thousand planchettes, at a profit of fifty cents, cash, each. It neSd not surprise as 
that Mr. Kirby thinks well of planchette. Now what does so knowing a young lady 
as Miss Field think of it ? In this neat little volume (* Planchette's Diary *), she teDs 
her own experiences, and, as a conclusion of the whole, admits that she has no 
perplexed ; and, finally, ' from the sensations undergone while using planchette, I am 
inclined to believe myself under the influence of a wonderfully subtle magnetic fluid-' 
To find a name to call a thing by, seems to satisfy most minds ; but a name is nothing, — 
* electricity,' * magnetism,' * odic force,' * vital current,' and so on and on, and we are 
as much in the dark as ever about planchette, table-movings, hysteria, Spiritualisia« 
demonism, witchcraft, possession of devils, &c. Are these any thing at all but * de- 
rangement ' of the normal forces of human nature, or a strange and unhealthy action? 
or are they, in some subtle way, the action of spiritual forces outside of oursehes? 
Science has not yet settled the question, and we commend it to the attention of oar 
new school of positivists." 


Seneca compares the birth of man into this world to his birth 
from the womb of Nature, into " another beginning, another 
state of things that expects us." 

" It will be just as natural for you," says one, claiming to be a 
spirit, " to become suddenly conscious of the spirit-world, as it 
is for the infant to be ushered into the material world without 
consciously tkperiencing any unusual degree of excitement from 
the occurrence." 

"A form which vanishes," says Gustave Aimandj "is the 
creation of a new form, a transformation of being. What we 
call death is a movement in advance, a progressive evolution, an 
aggrandizement of life. Our past furnishes us a double proof 
of this assertion ; for it is through a double death, a double de- 
struction of anterior forms, that we arrive at our present life. 

" Suppose that the ovule which is to one day be a man, had 
sensibility and intelligence: would it not take for symptoms, 
premonitory of its end, the painful rendings of its ovulary or- 
ganization ? Error I Vain fears I The ovule becomes a foetus ; 
that is to say, passes from an inferior life to a superior ; fon the 
foetus has an organization and a life distinct from those both of 
the ovule and of the infant. 

" Suppose now that the foetus, also sensitrve and intelligent, 
approaching the end of its foetal life, began to experience the 
sufferings of child-birth. Would not ij^^ too, believe that the 
convulsive claspings of the uterus were the very embrace of 
death and the utter annihilation of life ? Error again I Vain 
fears I For that which it took for its death-rattle of agony, and 
its last adieu to existence, is the first wailing of a new-born 
child, its salutation to a new and higher life. 

" And so the end of one life is the commencement of another 
life less imperfect. It is in this manner, beyond a doubt, that 
by an endless series of evolutions or of deaths, we shall realize 
more and more the divine destiny which is revealed to us and 
promised by our aspirations, our infinite desires. 

" Unless man is eternal in his substance, immortal in his per- 
sonality, infinite in his destiny, even as he is in his desires, then 



there is neither Being of beings, nor Omnipotent Goodness, 
nor Infinite Love, nor Eternal Justice : God does not exist." 

We know with what suddenness the prevalent fanatical notions 
in regard to witchcraft passed away from the civilized world. 
Mr. Lecky has described it in some striking sentences. It was 
as if people had awakened all at once from a dreadful night- 
mare. One day witchcraft seemed a fixed fact, and^he next day 
it was spurned and gone. Unquestionably, with what there was 
in it fanatical and false, much that was true was repudiated. It 
will be the work of Spiritualism to point out and re-confirm 
the true. But the time is not far back, when, to deny witchcraft, 
and the construction put on it by the authority of the Old Testa- 
ment, was regarded as a sort of atheism. 

May it not be that our theological systems and creeds, widely 
but somewhat passively accepted as they now may be, are des- 
tined to a winnowing not unlike that which witchcraft has 
undergone? May not Some of our professional religious teachers 
wake up some bright morning to find that their hearers have 
very generally outgrown a certain style of appeal to their lazy 
preferences, their self-indulgent hopes, their nervous fears, or 
their sordid calculations? Should such a change come, — and 
the signs are threatening, — we mey be sure that Spiritualism, 
pure and undefiled, will be the unfailing conservator of all that 
is good and true in human beliefs on the subject of the rela- 
tions of man to time and to eternity, to the universe and to its 



A£Bdavits, 24, 83, 132-4. 
Aaaasizy 10-13, 374. 
•^Sx)tt, 371, 372. 
Angels, 321, 322. 
Apparitions, 57, 63-7, 72,74, 

78, 107, 144, 20I-6, 209, 

233, 340. 341- 
Arago, 165, 221. 
Aristotle, 340. 
Aschauer, 209, aia. 
Ashburner, 114, 223, 245. 
Atheism, 153, 305. 
Atkinson, 176, 177. 
Au^tine, 27, 154, 172, 395. 
Axioms, 308. 
Azais, 367. 

Babbage, Professor, 388. 

Babinet, 213, 289. 

Bacon, 104, 148, 168. 

Bain, 199. 

Balaam, 9, 393. 

Banner of Light, 733, 297. 

Baxter, R., 27, 155, 202, 

Beattie, 158. 
Beaumont, 206. 
Beecher, C, 255. 
Beecher, E., 332, 354. 
Bell, R., 18, 28, 8s, 86, 95, 

Berkeley, 305. 
Bertrand, Dr., 165, 185, z86, 


Bible Spiritualism, 207, 290, 

BiSet, 178-185. 
Bizouard, 209. 
Blackstone, 27, 96, zo8. 
Blind Tom, 140. 
Boehme, 150. 
Boismont, 168, 169. 
Bonnamy, 331, 363. 
Bonnet, 366, 368. 
Boston Courier, 9, la 
Boucicault, 17. 
Bowles, B. F., 174. 
Bray, C., 220. 
Brewster, 9, 18, 19, 109, 289. 
Brittan, 171, 223. 
Brodie, 318.* 
Brougham, 18. 
Brown, R. H., 187. 
Browne, Sir T., 104. 
Browning, Mrs., ziz. 
Brownson, 2x3. 
Brutes, Souls of, 263, 265. 
Bachree, L., 328. 

BUchner, 154, iS9» i9S» tgS, 

367, 369- 
Burtis, 318. 
Burton, R. F., 46. 
Bush, Geo., 113, 150, 345. 
Bushnell 169, 170. 
Cabalists, 347, 348. 
Cahagnet, 353. 
Calmet, 106. 
Calvin, 334. 

Qambrid^e Committee, 10, 

13, 38, 289. 
Campbell, Dr. Geo., 53, 54. 
Cardan, 340, 366. 
Cariyle, T., 216. 
Carpenter, Dr. W. B., 154, 


Catholic Church, 318, 319, 
Catholic miracles, 396. 
Chambers, R., 18, iii. 
Chaseray, 360, 363, 364, 365. 
Chemical &cts, 6, 247, 374. 
ChUds, H. T., 303. 
Chinese, Planchette among, 

Christianity, 253, 316, 318, 

Cicero, 172, 255, 256, 340. 

Clairvoyance, Proofs o^ 10, 
28, 75, ICS, H3, 146, 151, 
i54» iS9» 165, 166, 167, 168, 
169, 171, 378. ^ 

Clairvoyance a proof of im- 
mortjuity, 187-195. 

Clairvoyance called impos- 
sible, 166. 

Clairvoyant, The, 183. 

Clark, Bishop, m. 

Cleveland Convention, 38, 
285, 286, 318. 

Clemens, Alex., 172. 

Cloquet, M., 163. 

Cock Lane ghost, 205. 

Clowes, Rev. Mr., 323. 

Colbv, W. A., 123. 

Colchester, 123, 206. 

Coleman, Benj., 18, 19, 57, 
60, 77, 124, 148, 223, 235, 
236, 237, 238, 273, 287, 


Coleridge, 86, 250, 377. 
Collier, Dr., 28. 
Columbus, no, 397. 
Conflict of Ages, 332, 354. 
Communications, 25, 238, 
294, 301. 


Consdousness, 154, 298, 
219, 224, 238, 263, 376. 
Cooper, R., 48. 
Copernicus, 28, ^4. 
Comhill Magazine, 85. 
Correlation of forces, 26a 
Cottin, Angelique, 221. 
Cox, William, 18, 19. 
Cudworth, 153, 322, 351, 
Cui bono? 17, 94, 278. 
Culver, Mrs., 34. 
Cushman, Mrs., 124. 
Cuvier^ 222. 

Danskm, W. A., 132, 233. 

Dark Circles, 38, 282, 286. 

Darkness a condition, 125. 

Darwinian theory, 155, 266, 
26S, 269. 

Daumer, Professor, 240. 

Davenport Brothers, 11-17, 

^37-45,231. ^ . ^ 

Davenport Brothers m £u- 
rope, 46, 47, 48. 

Davenport Brothers, exhi- 
bitions of, 45, 235. 

Davenport Brothers, re- 
ports on, 17, 38-45, 46. 

Davis, A. J., 102, 125, 316, 

Davy, Sir H., 354. 
Death, 243, 244, 279, 280, 

300, 316, 317, 336, 361. 
Delachambre, 324. 
Deleuze, 153, 178-185. 
Delitzch, 345. 
Democritus, 233. 
Demonolatty, 206. 
Denton, Wm., 134, 151, 

223, 387. 
Descartes, 339, 364. 
Deschamps, Emile, 383. 
Dewey, Rev. O., 279. 
Diabolical agency, 321, 33a. 
Divination, 173. 
Doherty, H., 156. 
Donne, Dr., 202* 
Double-goers, 233, 237. 
Dreams, 169, 256. 
Druids, The, 290, 349. 
Dublin Review, 319. 
Dupotet, 153, 178, 185, 186, 

187, 378. 
Dyott, M. B., 286. 
Edinburgh Review, 10, 103^ 

Z08, 1 10, 160. 
Edmonds, Judge, 229, 300, 
Edwards, Milne, 368. 



EpT^ians, The, 346. 
Electricity, 6, 28. 
Elliotson, 20, 117, 157, 177. 
Ellis, Laura V., laq, 130. 
Elongation, 100, 226. 
Encyc. Metrop., 31, 107. 
Enneinoser, no, 352. 
Knfantin, 328. 
England, Spiritualism in, 

Epicurus, 233. 
Eschenmayer, 146, 147, 252. 
Evil, Existence of, 284, 303, 

304, 333. 348. 
Evodius, 395. 
Failure, Causes of^ 13, 94. 
Faraday, 9, 15, 16-19, 25, 


Faraday, his theor>', 15, 20, 

118, 21H, 222, 260. 
Farrar, Daniel, 206, 223. 
Fathers, The, 366. 
Favre, Jules, in. . 
Fay, \V illiam, 46, 235. 
Feiton, Professor, 9. 
Ferguson, J. B., 235, 236, 


Feuerbach, 154, 155. 

Field, Kate, 398. 

Filassier, M., 165. 

I'inney, S. J., 304. 

Fire ordeal, t)6. 

Flint, Dr., his theory, 9. 

Floiirens, M., 365, 368. 

Foetus, Mind in the, 156. 

Foster, C. II., 111-120, 171. 

Fourier, 328. 

Fox family, 29. 

Fox, Kate, 11, 30, 34, 55, 
109, 16:. 

Fox, Kate, Dr. Gray's re- 
marks on, 160. 

Franck, Professor G., 196. 

Franklin, Benj., 54. 

Franklin, Benj., supposed 
apparition of, 62, 66, 70, 

Fuller, M.irgaret, 141. 

Calileo, 28. 327. 

Gardner, Dr. H., 9-1 1. 

Gnribakli, 111. 

Garve, C, 370. 

Gasparin, 164, 221. 

Georget, i(>o, 164. 

Gibbon, 2>>S. 

CJI.uivil, 27, 30, 31, 206, 341. 
Giul, Conceptions of, 152, 

271 311, 322, 331, 350. 
Goethe, no, 151, 154, 385. 
Giirres, no, 146, 209, 212, 


Gi'uld, Professor B. A., xo. 
Gousset, Cardinal, 320. 

Gratiolet, 368. 
Graves. E. de las, ago. 
Gray, Dr. J. F., 38, 39, 55, 

60, 78, 134, 223. 
Greeley, H., 50. 
Gregory, Dr. Wm., 13. 
Grote, 347. 
Grove, 379. 
Guay, \vm., 138. 
Ouldenstubbe, 206. 
GuUy^ Dr., 28, 95. 
Gunnmg, Professor, 14, 124, 

130, 223- 
Guppy, Dr., 231, 247. 
Uahn, 207. 
Hall, Mrs. S. C, lox. 
Halley's comet, 37. 
Hamilton, Sir W., 305, 306, 


Hamilton, the juggler, 47. 

Hands, Formation of, 36, 
45. 5<h 89, "7. "7. 134, 

Hare, Professor, 20, 228, 

Hardin^e, E., 102. 
Harris, T. L., 324. 
Haunted houses, 4. 
Heaven, 301, 358. 
Hecker, 319. 

Hegel, 148, 305, 354, 357. 
Hell, 301, 315, 357. 
Heraciitus, 158. 
Herder, 34^344- , 
Hermann, the juggler, 123. 
Herodotus, 346. 
Herschel, Sir J., 94. 
Hindoos, The, 349, 350. 
Home, Daniel, his affidavit, 

life, &c., 80, 100. 

letter to TjTidall, 16. 

testimonials, 23, 24, 84, 
87, 98, lOO. 

stances, 18, 21, 87, 98- 

ordeal by fire, 97. 

elongation, 100. 

levitation, 145. 

referred to, 379. 
Honebtas, 241-5, 296. 
Hooker, Dr., 155. 
Hnrnung, D., 240. 
Horsford, Professor, 10. 
Hoiidin on Davenports, 46, 
Howitt, Wm., 17S, 201, 205, 

Hrjlf lJ?.°GeraId,6i. 
Human Nature, 241, 296. 
Hume, 258. 
Huxley, 266, 268, 270. 
Hydesville doings, 29, 57, 

Hypothena, Spirilui], tsB^ 
xxo, X76, »23j aas, aA 
as8^ 367,277, 996. 

Identity, 6a, 324. 

Inglefield, Captaan, xS. 

Immortality* 19X. 

Insanity, xo8. 

Intuition, 192, 308. 

Irenaus, 345, 35X, 367. 

Iron-nng feats, X30, 132) 

Jacison, J. W., 223-233, 
^ 238, 352, 

Jacob the Zonave, 393. 
Jamblichus, 100, 255, 34a 
'aniieson, W. F., 284. 

encken, H. J., xoa 

esus, 148, 239, as3, 331. 

ews,The, 172. 

oan of Arc, 26^ 79. 

obard, M., 280. 

ohnson. Dr., X54, aqs, 3x9. 

oubert, xS3, X7X. 

ulian, the apostate, 298^ 

ustin, Mart^, 173. 

Lane, Captam, 29. 
Kant, ao4, 252, 34a. 
Kardec, 313, 3^33^* 3Sh 

338. 339 
Kepler, 357. 

Kemer, Justmus, 32, ixo^ 
ni, i4i-iSo> 237. *S2» 

King, T. S., 214-216. 
Knee-joint Uieory, 9. 
Koon's rooms, 35-37. 
I.acordaire, 32a 
Latour, 327. 

La\'ater, no, xsx, 381, 385. 

Lecky, 104, 400. 

Lee, Dr. Edwin, 167. 

Lee and Flint, Drs., 9. 

Leibnitz, 157, 173, 244. 

Leigh ton. A., 223, 224, 226. 

Leroux, 328, 360, 363. 

Lessin^, 146, 325, 342, 345. 

Levitation, 92, 100, xoi, X05, 
106, 107, X09, X28, 146^ 
184, 226. 

Lewes, G. H., 25, 266. 

Lewis, Dr. Winslow, 84. 

Lichtenber]^, 342. 

Lights, Spirit, 56. 

L , his ex- 
periences through Kate 
Fox, 56-79, 223, 231. 

Livy, 162. 

Locke, 264, 279. 

London Sat Kev., X48. 

Ix)omis*s, Dr., Report, 39. 

Lord, Jennie, 125, X28, 1219, 


Ixireland, J. S., 286. 
Luther, 27. 
Lyndhurst, Lord, zix. 
Lyon, Mrs., 81, 82. 
Lyttleton, Lord, 201. 
Lytton, 294, 373. . 
Magnetism, Anunal, 28, 

151. iS3i »54. 162, 171. 
Magnetiiun, Reports on, 

162, 222. 
MaKuetist^, French, X77. 
Mahan, 220, 251. 
Mahomet, 397. 
Manicheaiis, 349. 
Manifestations. See Table 

of Contents, 9-12. 
Mansel, 305, 306, 309, 334. 
Mansfield, J. V., 11, 379. 
Mapes, Professor, 45. 
Marsliall, Mrs., 240. 
Marsiliiis Ficinus, 340. 
Af artineau, J., 199. 
Alarv Jane theory, 247. 
blather, 27, 106. 
Matter and Spirit, 295. 
Materialism, 153, 157-160, 

166, 1.S9, 19s, 318. 
Materialism answered, 189, 

19s. 267, 
Maudsley, Dr., loS, 160, 

Maury, 368. 
Mazzmi, iii. 
Mediums, 12^ 82, 125. 
mutiplication of, 35, 106, 

241, 291. 
unreliable, 2S5, 324. 
why necessary, 13, 241- 

• '*^\ . 
Mcdiuniship, xox, 241. 

Mclaiicthon, 31. 

Memory, 360, 377. 

Mcsmer, Anton, 161. 

Metamorphosis, 173. 

Metaphysics, 309, 345. 

Meiern,isyclu»sis, 173, 256, 

303, JJO. 3J7., 281. 

Meteoric Htcmes, 15. 

Mevcr, Von F., 110, 146. 

Mill, J. S , 

Mir.ic.t s. j'^u. 322. 

Mojo.K 1; .uu ;i. 317. 

Molc-tiholt, 154, 157, 195. 


Moiilio<ii:r. 374. 

Mou-. \h: try, 103, 207, 314, 


Morgan, i'roi'cssor A. de, 

15, 21. iiz, 323. 
Morin. M., 17H. 
Morion, Dr. W. T. G., 109. 

Moser's experiments, 165. 
Molt, Dr. v., 163. 
Mountford, Wm., 34, 125, 

223, 396. 
Muchehiey disturbances, 


Muller, J., 342. 
Mumlcr, 137. 

Musical Nfanifestations, 36, 

91. 95- 
Nation, N.Y., 288, 289. 
Neo-Platonists, 347. 
Nervous lluid, 223. 
Newman, F. W., 388. 
Newton, 19, 54, 102, 157, 


Newton, Dr., 393. 
Newton, A. IS., 292. 
Nichols, Dr. J. R., 3-7. 
Nichols, Dr. T. L„ 12, 13, 

Norton, D., 303. 
Novalis, 35, no. 
Oberiiii, 110, 259. 
Objections, Frivolous, 54, 

Odx Force, 190, 241, 247. 
Oersted, 375. 

Oracles, Ancient, 172, 297. 
Origen, 27, 154, 172, 340, 

34 »» 344. 34^*. 349. 354. 


Owen, R. D., 36, 201, 223, 

Page, David, 266. 
Pall Mall Gazette, 17, 298. 
Palmer, John, 204. 
Pantheism, 305. 
Pascal, 154. "167, 334. 
Pensprit, 329. 
Perrone, Father, 319. 
I'crsonal exijcriences, 37, 

112, 113, 125, 125, 129, 

15?, 2or., 274. 
Piielps, Rev. l>r., 5, 49, 50. 
Pheiioineuaof 1847, 29, 135, 

136, 151. 
Phenomena of witchcraft, 
105, 135, 143 
clas>ihed, 55, 225, 251, 

Physical, 25, 35, 94, 

285. 3«v- 
Real, 4, s. 

admitted by the Cath- 
o ic C'iiiirch, ji;,. 320. 
irre, rcsr,ible, 7. 
Pho-.phoru-', f)ij. 
Phys:olo;;y._i54. 156, 161. 
l*lerce, Profcsiior, 10, 13. 
Planchette, described, i, 4, 

Planchette, its caprices, 3, 

in China, 397. 

sale of, 397. 
Plato, 27, 162, 318, 346, 395. 
Plot in us, 340. 
Plutarch, 27, 297. 
Pneumatology, 151. 
Pon)hyiy, 347- 
Potter, W. B., 291. 
Prediction, Remarkably 

Pre-existence, 256, 300, 326- 
354- . 

Prevision, 167, 169. 
l*roclus, 340. 

Professors nonplussed, 13. 
Protestantism, 255. 
Psychology, 262. 
Psychometry, 146, 354, 374- 

Puysegur, 153, 165, 171, 186. 
Pythagoras 27, 340, 343, 346. 
Python:sm, 289, 322. 
Rappings, 2, 29, 32, 105, 

142, 206, 240, 248, 253. 
Ray, Dr. J., 8. 
Read, C. H., 132. 
Reade, C^has., i8. 
Redman, the medium, 1:, 


Rehn, 260. 

Reichenbach, 1x8, 220, 240^ 
241, 247, 251, 387. 

Reichenbach on Spiritual- 
ism, 241. 

Reiinar, 3A5. 

Re-incaniation, 33X. 

Religion, 312, 314. 

Renan. E., 397. 

Resurrection of the body, 

Reubelt, 195. 

Reyn.iud, 328, 3SS-363. 

Rhys, M., Letter ot; 47. 

Rich, Elihu, 107. 

Richardson. 134. 

Rich.irdson, Rev. J., 204. 

Richter, 318. 

Roberlstm, F. \V,, 279. 

Rochester, Henry, 168. 

Rochotcr knockings, 29, 

«3.V , . 

RiH:lie:aer resolutions, 300 
Ro^or->. K. C, 2IJJ. 
Riipe tying, 3^rAS> i33- 
Rosi.m, M., 164. 
Rothery, W. H., 349- 
Round T.ib'c, 397. 
Ri:!e. .Margaret. 106. 
Sadduceeism, 171, 206^ 321. 
St. M.iitiu. 178, 338, 34Z. 
St. Pa :.. 123, 151, 162,344, 


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